New jobs headed to Clarke County
By By Fredie Carmichael / staff writer
Oct. 23, 2003
Clarke County's economy could be turning around.
County officials received two pieces of good news this week: a closed pipe-making plant will reopen and a Taylorsville furniture and apparel manufacturer bought the Burlington Industries denim plant in Stonewall.
Fleming said this week's announcement could not have come at a better time.
Clarke County's economy has been in decline for more than 11⁄2 years ever since Burlington closed its Stonewall textile and denim plants in 2002, putting more than 800 people out of work.
County supervisors have since used a $100,000 grant from the Mississippi Development Authority the state's chief economic development agency to travel around the country and look for new industry.
Last month, the first signs surfaced of renewed interest in Clarke County.
Supervisors learned then that start-up company Magnolia Spinning, which will spin yarn out of Mississippi Delta cotton, will move into the county-owned Sunbeam plant near Shubuta.
Then came this week's two announcements.
Warmkraft Inc. of Taylorsville purchased the 518,000 square-foot Burlington Industries denim plant in Stonewall as well as the nearby wastewater treatment station.
Warmkraft did not buy Burlington's textile plant in downtown Stonewall and it remains vacant.
Warmkraft has been in business since 1984 and employs about 130 people at its Taylorsville plant. Company products include heating pads and massage systems for the furniture industry and a permanent press treatment system for military uniforms.
Donald Saxon, president of Warmkraft, said he hopes to begin using the Stonewall plant next year. Saxon said it's "too early to tell" how many people the plant might employ.
Meanwhile, Griffco Plastics, a pipe-making Quitman company that closed about two years ago, is ready to make its return.
Fleming said Griffco Plastics, which employed about 65 people when it filed bankruptcy, will reopen next week.