Manufacturing in the United States is booming, but it’s not booming in the Rustbelt anymore. A CEO once told me that it’s as economical to manufacture in the Southeast United States as it is in China and, judging by the manufacturers moving to the Southeast from both the northern tier and from abroad, other CEOs agree.
Yesterday, as I write this in late March, I had a chance to tour the Milwaukee Tool reciprocating saw and hole saw blade factory in Greenwood, Mississippi. Milwaukee’s Greenwood plant is housed in two buildings, totaling 390,000-sq.ft. and employs 690. The facility opened in 2001 with 87 employees. Milwaukee execs noted that they have plenty of room for expansion and plan to do so.
“They have changed the lives of over 600 Mississippians,” Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant exclaimed to assembled public officials and press. Bryant would not miss an opportunity to brag about job growth, but he was exactly right. In his remarks, Bryant praised both the state legislature and the Mississippi Development Authority for providing funds and tax relief for manufacturing jobs. He noted that Continental Tire built a gigantic manufacturing facility in Clinton, Miss., Yokohama built its largest tire plant in North America in West Point, Mississippi, Nissan and Toyota build a half million automobiles in the state, and 70% of the warships for the United States Navy are made in Pascagoula.