Down Mississippi Way

By April 19, 2007Trade

Following up on yesterday’s post about the Toyota groundbreaking in Blue Springs, Mississippi — true, globalization sometimes benefits the American worker — we offer a few links to the coverage.

Toyota’s news releases (here and here) provide the basic facts: The plant will manufacture the Highlander SUV starting sometime in 2010, a $1.3 billion investment employing about 2,000 workers.

The AP story notes comments by Toyota President Katsuaki Watanabe and Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour. The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal carries an editorial highlighting the efforts of Pontotoc, Union and Lee counties to attract the plant to the region. And the remarkable results.

The festive event also brought additional good news about Toyota’s previously announced commitment of $50 million to strengthen the PUL Alliance counties’ schools: The $5 million per year, 10-year commitment will be administered entirely through the CREATE Foundation, the regional, non-profit development agency headquartered in Tupelo but with an expanding regional focus. (CREATE, founded by the late Daily Journal Publisher George A. McLean, owns Journal Publishing Co. and its subsidiary corporations.)

Toyota’s commitment obviously empowers a sea-change opportunity for the three counties’ public schools, as one executive described it, a chance to set new nationwide benchmarks.

Mike Hambrick, host of the NAM’s weekly radio program, “America’s Business” was on hand to take in the events, and he’ll have a full report down the road. For now, congratulations. It looks like a good, good match.