WEST POINT, Miss. (WTVA) - Local, state and national leaders officially welcomed the new Yokohama Tire manufacturing facility in West Point.
This represents an initial capital investment of $300 million.
The tire plant is being built in several phases.
The first includes a one million square foot facility where 500 people will be hired.
The LINK'S Joe Max Higgins said, "Initially they're going to build commercial tires, tractor trailer tires, and bus tires. There's a possibility in the future they'll be adding passenger tires as well."
The invited guests were quick to point out how diverse the state's work force is, which they say helped lure the Japanese company to Mississippi.
Senator Roger Wicker said, "We haven't gotten away to a service economy like some states tried to do. We believe in manufacturing."
State Representative Gary Chism of Lowndes County said, "We have steel mills. At Paccar we build engines. At Eurocopter we build helicopters. We are a diverse group."
Leaders say this investment will help kick start a struggling local economy, but also important is the company's investment in the area's people and Golden Triangle community.
West Point Mayor Robbie Robinson said, "They love the community. They're going to be involved in the community. They're going to be good neighbors. Yokohama is just a class act."
Leaders also spoke of the teamwork involved on all levels to bring this new company to Mississippi.
It should open by October 2015.