OUR OPINION: New Belmont plant shows value of recycling

By NEMS Daily Journal

Recycling manufacturing buildings is as important in economic development as recycling consumer products for a different, perhaps better use, than the first time around.
The Town of Belmont will become the beneficiary of industrial recycling when Comfort Revolution, a New Jersey-based manufacturer of high-end sleep, began Monday making its products in the 432,650-square-foot building formerly occupied by Schnadig Furniture Corporation.
The project, which has been under discussion for months, will create 200 jobs within three years. The company and the Mississippi Development Authority made a formal announcement on Monday.
Company officials said the former furniture plant and Belmont fit its specifications for locating its manufacturing in the Southeast.
“We looked at sites throughout the southeast for the new plant but were most impressed with Belmont,” said Comfort Revolution founder and CEO Michael Fux. “The outstanding quality of the workforce in Tishomingo County and the community’s support made us conclude this is the best spot for our investment. We’ve wanted for a long time to produce products in the United States, and we’re eager to get started.”
The development authority, an arm of government operating within the executive branch, facilitates many kinds of economic development investments, ranging from auto manufacturers like Toyota to smaller firms like Comfort Revolution. Its goal is good jobs.
MDA provided assistance in support of Comfort Revolution through the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, and Tishomingo County provided assistance for the project, as well.
Comfort Revolution describes itself as a “leading developer and marketer of mattresses, mattress toppers and pillows. The company’s products are made with premium memory foam and Hydraluxe gel technology.”
Comfort Revolution will join several other mattress and sleep product manufacturers in the region. Some but not all are in some way linked to the region’s furniture industry. The Belmont plant, company officials said, will introduce some new products.
MDA, in working with regional, municipal and county development organizations, has proven an able “closer” for many investments. It has been involved since 2010 in at least 33 new or expanded existing investments statewide, several in Northeast Mississippi.
MDA, as is the practice with most development organizations, remains tightlipped about its work until a success is ready for announcement. Its work proves the value of government involvement in private-sector development, regardless of the size.