To celebrate its 10 successful years in Mississippi, Nissan Motor Company announced that it is moving production of its Murano crossover vehicles from Kyushu, Japan, to the facility in Canton in 2014.
Canton plant manager Dan Bednarzyk told the Associated Press that Nissan expects to add 400 jobs to the more than 5,000 people already working at the plant, and create a route for contract workers to become full-time employees.
The plant adds the Murano to the Altima and Sentra sedans, Armada and Xterra SUVs, Titan and Frontier pickup trucks and NV vans, making it the eighth model the Canton plant will produce.
"I appreciate Nissan's trust in our workforce, and I believe it led to the company's decision to produce the new Murano in Canton, further demonstrating Mississippi's strength as a manufacturing location," said Gov. Phil Bryant at the 10-year-anniversary celebration Jan. 10.
Bill Krueger, vice chairman of Nissan Americas, added: "With the addition of this new model in Canton, Nissan is well on its way toward meeting our goal to manufacture 85 percent of the vehicles we sell in the U.S. right here in North America."
Downtown Cafe Reopens
Downtown Cafe--home of signature chicken and waffles--is holding a grand re-opening celebration Thursday, Jan. 17, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at its newly renovated restaurant at 224 E. Capitol St., the former home of Miller's Grill.
Chef and owner Aubrey Norman Jr. will be on hand for a live cooking demonstration. Guests can also taste samples from the cafe's new menu and enjoy live entertainment. The new location is a just down the road from its former home on the opposite end of East Capitol. Chef Norman's vision for the new Downtown Cafe includes fresh seafood and a "Norman" take on fine dining experience.
The Jackson Convention and Visitors Bureau recognized Norman as a Hometown Hero last summer for his impact on tourism and inspiring entrepreneurship in Jackson. "He is an inspiration for young entrepreneurs," said Ashley Logan, a fan of the cafe, in a release.
Mitsubishi Buys Daily Equipment
Mitsubishi Caterpillar Forklift America Inc. purchased Jackson-based Daily Equipment Company, which bills itself as "one of the nation's largest and most well known lift truck dealers." The acquisition price has not been disclosed.
Houston, Texas-based MCFA is a manufacturer of forklifts in the United States, Canada, Mexico and Latin America. Other than Jackson, Daily Equipment has five other full-service branches: one in Biloxi and four in Louisiana (New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Shreveport and Lake Charles). The company was founded in 1985 and has roughly 200 employees.
"The acquisition of Daily Equipment Company was an excellent investment opportunity that will help strengthen MCFA's distribution network and further expand MCFA's dealership holdings in important markets," said Kent Eudy, MCFA vice president of sales and marketing, in a press release. "DEC has a long history of providing world-class customer service and operational excellence, and these strengths will continue to serve as key advantages for MCFA's business and customers in the future."
Leadership and staffing of Daily Equipment will remain essentially the same.
"I am honored to transfer my business to a strong, long-term partner like MCFA," said Emmerson Daily, CEO and founder of Daily Equipment Company, in the release. "MCFA offers me assurance that Daily Equipment Company's customers will continue to be treated well and that our employee family will be provided a stable and bright future."
Mississippi Works' Legislative Agenda
Mississippi Works is "focused on increasing economic opportunities in Mississippi and crafting a long-range strategy for strengthening the state's business and workforce development efforts," wrote the group's Executive Committee co-chairs Bill Lampton, president of Asphalt Groups of Ergon Inc., and Jim Barksdale, chairman of the board and president of Barksdale Management Corp., in a Jan. 13 release from the governor's office.
The group is an initiative of Gov. Phil Bryant's. It has developed a strategic policy agenda for the 2013 Mississippi legislative session. Chief among its strategies is stabilizing Mississippi's tax environment for small businesses, developing the private-sector health-care industry, and promoting the state as a leader in energy development, job creation, and research.
"We are excited about what the future holds for Mississippi," the co-chairmen wrote. "By adopting sound policies to guide our growth, we can ensure prosperity now and for the generations to come."
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Comfort Comes to Belmont
This morning, Comfort Revolution, a manufacturer of high-end mattresses, mattress toppers and pillows, held a ribbon cutting for its new plant in Belmont, in Tishomingo County, the Associated Press reported.
The New Jersey-based company will be located in the former Schnadig Furniture Corporation's 432,650-square-foot building, and plans to create 200 to 300 jobs within three years.
Comfort Revolution CEO Michael Fux says manufacturing will begin in late April or early May.