Economic Development Authority of Jones County
153 Base Drive, Suite 3 Laurel, MS 39440
P. O. Box 527, Laurel, MS 39441
(601) 649.3031 | FAX (601) 428.2047
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | www.edajones.com
From our previous experiences with the timber boom and bust of the late Nineteenth Century, and petroleum advances and retreats in the late Twentieth Century, we’ve learned a valuable lesson – we must strongly encourage industrial diversity and partnerships. And, that’s exactly what we’ve done. As a result, we have not one but three strong industry groups in Jones County – and a fourth well on its way to maturity.
Three poultry processors operate in Jones County. Southern Hens, Wayne Farms (a subsidiary of ContiGroup) and Sanderson Farms, two of the top five poultry processors in the country, are top employers in the county. Not only is this industry a top employer, it encourages entrepreneurship within the region. Individual poultry growers throughout South Mississippi have a vital livelihood thanks to these processors with operations located in Jones County.
Jones County is home to a number of manufacturers that impact several industries and consumers, and supply over 5,000 jobs.
One of the world’s largest manufacuters of transformers, ballasts and other electrical equipment. In recent years, Howard has entered the personal commuting and medical market with specialized desktops, servers, laptops and other technology ready equipment.
The Laurel manufacturing plant continues to produce the processed board from wood chips developed by William Mason in the 1920s. In recent years, the company has expanded into other products, including interior and exterior doors.
Founded in 1964, Howse Implement is one of the largest manufacturers of rotary cutters and other implements used in agricultural operations. The company’s products are sold throughout the United States and in over thirty foreign countries.
Laurel Machine and Foundry
A custom foundry for various types of machinery and parts, LMF supplies a full line of metal products and vessels to various industries, especially the oil and gas industry.
This home-grown company manufacturers a brand of walk-in coolers and freezers. Thermo-Kool walk-ins are prevalent throughout the United States and many foreign countries.
Producing turnhead distributors, bucket elevators and round bottom drag-flight conveyors for the animal feed industry, Essmueller was originally founded in St. Louis, Missouri. The company’s entire highly automated operation is now located in Jones County.
As the second-highest oil-producing county in the state – over 280 active wells – you can imagine how vital the petroleum industry is to Jones County. For several generations this particular industry cluster – drilling companies, service and equipment providers and distributors – has formed a large employment base and profit center for affiliate companies large and small.
And, the future continues to be bright as oil field production and service companies like Halliburton and Schlumberger and large-scale distributors like Massco and Keithco Petroleum continue to grow and expand.
Community and state leaders have partnered together over the last several years to “incubate” a fourth industrial sector in Jones County – high technology. These efforts are now producing tangible economic growth. The most obvious sign of this collaboration is in the recent announcement of a second Mississippi location of GE Aviation. GE Aviations 300,000 plant will be built in the Howard Technology Park in Ellisville.