WATER VALLEY – One of the county’s largest employers is expected to continue to grow.
The county’s economic director, Bob Tyler, updated supervisors on the plant after Windsor Foods announced the closure of two plants last month, one in Tulsa and another in Los Angeles. Windsor Foods is a leading manufacturer and marketer of frozen ethnic foods and appetizers and produces Asian and Mexican frozen food at the Oakland plant.
Speaking in the “first Monday” supervisor meeting on Aug. 4, Tyler reported he had met with plant officials and reported the company was centralizing their operations. He also reported the Oakland facility is Windsor’s core plant.
“Oakland is what we call their flagship plant. It is solid and the future looks great over there,” the county’s economic development director explained, hinting at a possible expansion in the future that would mark the fourth time Windsor has added production to the Oakland location.
Windsor started operations in Oakland in November, 2008, ramping up to 210 employees several months after beginning production. In late 2009, another 65 employees were added at the company. The company spent a reported $9 million on a second expansion in 2011, an investment that helped retain 275 jobs and created another 35 jobs. Last June the company invested another $3 million to boost egg roll production, an expansion that came with 10 new jobs.
Other economic development news reported by Tyler at the Aug. 4 meeting includes:
• Tyler reported he is working with the SWM company, a subsidiary of Blauer Company, for a long-term commitment for use of the county-owned building in Coffeeville. SWM is headquartered in Oxford and manufactures uniforms. Last month the company entered a six-month lease with the county for the Coffeeville building that most recently housed Avery Outdoors. Tyler explained the company was storing sewing machines in the building but added, “We would like to see them do something permanent with the building.”
One option under discussion, Tyler told supervisors, was using a portion of the building to sell seconds.
“They have tons of seconds and they would like to sell them out of the front of the building down there,” Tyler explained.
• Tyler reported the county’s new Mississippi State Extension Service Com-munity Resource Develop-ment Agent Allyson Cole-man is coordinating help from experts at Mississippi State to assist with updating the county’s website.
“I am going to say it is going to save the county thousands of dollars,” Tyler added.