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Senatobia to get auto parts plant
Northwest campus' workforce programs helped lure PK USA
By Wayne Risher (Contact)
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Senatobia has landed a $40 million addition to Mississippi's burgeoning automotive industry.
Officials announced Wednesday that parts manufacturer PK USA would create about 200 jobs in the Tate County seat by 2010.
Gov. Haley Barbour and PK USA announced that a stamping and welding assembly plant would locate in Senatobia.
Senatobia and Tate County officials cited the main campus of Northwest Mississippi Community College as a significant draw for PK USA. Northwest offers Workforce Development programs in concert with the state, and its curriculum includes tool and die technology.
Janie Mortimer, executive director of the Tate County Economic Development Foundation, and Senatobia Mayor Alan Callicott said a central location on Interstate 55, good schools and other amenities helped woo PK USA.
Barbour's office said PK USA was the third announced supplier for the Toyota Highlander SUV plant under construction in Blue Springs in northeast Mississippi.
Barbour said in a statement: "PK USA joins 90 other automotive manufacturing, distribution and supplier companies operating in Mississippi. The company will be a strong asset as we continue to position the state as a major competitor in the automotive industry."
The Toyota plant was announced nearly a year ago.
Callicott said officials have been working with PK USA for 7-8 months.
The mayor said the plant will be a shot in the arm for his community.
"Obviously, you want to have good jobs in your community so people can live here, they can work here, they can raise a family here, so they don't have to get in the car and drive somewhere else to work."
The payroll also will boost local merchants. "The more money that gets loose in your community, the better," Callicott said.
Mortimer said PK USA plans to occupy and expand a building in Senatobia Industrial Park at the Miss. 740 exit on I-55.
The company will take over a building that housed the industrial park's first tenant, Deltona Lighting Products/U.S. Ballast, which closed about two years ago. Other tenants include a BMW distribution center and Carlisle SynTec roofing.
Mortimer said PK USA considered Senatobia strategically placed also to serve the Nissan plant in Canton and Hino Motors in Marion, Ark.
Callicott said, "It's more than just the Toyota plant. It's other things they can touch."
Mortimer said the proposed new Interstate 269 could come into play in transporting parts to Toyota; the suburban interstate will link I-55 to the U.S. 78/Interstate 22 corridor.
Mortimer said officials are working with the Mississippi Department of Transportation and other agencies to secure improvements to Miss. 4 between Senatobia and Holly Springs, the most direct route to Toyota. About 14 miles of Miss. 4 needs upgrading to support truck traffic.
PK USA is a Shelbyville, Ind.-based subsidiary of the Japanese companies Press Kogyo Co. Ltd. and Mitsui & Co. Ltd. It's billed as the primary supplier of metal body parts, chassis parts and plastic injection parts to the U.S. automotive industry.
PK USA has operated a plant in Canton, near Nissan, since 2005.
-- Wayne Risher: (662) 996-1421
Copyright 2019 PKUSA Inc.