A big welcome for Yokohama

Reported by: Susan Parker
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Updated: 9/18/2013 7:40 pm
COLUMBUS, Miss. (WTVA) -- Tadaharu Yamamoto took the stage Wednesday and with few words expressed his eagerness to move forward in the company's new home -- West Point.

"To have a partner like Yokohama to provide 2,000 jobs when they are finally complete, words can't describe how I feel," West Point Mayor Ronnie Robinson said.

"I think Clay County has had one of the highest unemployment rates in the state, and we're hoping this will remedy that and lower the rate and get everybody out there working again," LaDonna Helveston said.

That feeling was likely shared by many in the room. The quarterly meeting for the Golden Triangle Development LINK was one of a number of stops for Yokohama Tire Manufacturing Mississippi representatives.

Economic development officials are excited to see the people who will help turn the tables in Clay County's favor for a change.

"It couldn't happen to a better place," LINK CEO Joe Max Higgins said.

Work is underway to lay the groundwork for water, sewer and rail to site of the new truck tire plant.

"You'll start seeing a massive amount of dirt being moved, millions and millions of yards of dirt being moved and getting the site ready for this initial building, which is a million square feet," Higgins added.

The project will be built in four phases. Five hundred people will be employed in the beginning with the same amount of jobs added during each phase.

When the plant is completed in October 2015, the goal is to manufacture one million tires annually.
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