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Mission Forest Products investing $160 million, adding 130 jobs
CORINTH, Mississippi (From news reports) -- Mission Forest Products, a subsidiary of Timberland Investment Resources, is building a sawmill in Corinth that will bring 130 jobs by 2022. The project is a $160 million corporate investment.

"Agriculture is Mississippi's top economic driver, and our abundance of forestland - nearly 20 million acres statewide - provides tremendous opportunities for economic growth and job creation in this vital sector," Gov. Tate Reeves said of the project.

Mission Forest Products will be capable of producing 250 million board feet of lumber annually. The state-of-the-art pine sawmill will be financed through capital provided by investors that TIR represents.

"Our objective is for this mill to become one of the lowest-cost and most reliable suppliers of high-quality dimensional lumber products in North America," said TIR Managing Director Christopher Mathis. "We intend to do this by capitalizing on three things - the abundance of high-quality timber in the area, Corinth's proximity to the growing housing markets of the U.S. South and lower Midwest and the low-cost, high-efficiency nature of the mill's design."

TIR said it decided to locate the mill in Corinth because of the rail and road access it offers to growing population centers like Memphis, Nashville, Birmingham and the lower U.S. Midwest - all areas where lumber demand is high and is projected to increase due to commercial and population expansion.

The company said the area surrounding Corinth, which sits where the state lines of Tennessee, Alabama and Mississippi intersect, is "a prime timber-growing region that is underserved with sawmilling capacity despite the plentiful inventory of high-quality timber that is growing in its vast forestlands, which are generally owned by local families and large institutional investors, such as those TIR represents."

The Mississippi Development Authority is providing $4.1 million in funding through two grant programs or infrastructure improvements, a $3 million loan for public infrastructure improvements and $250K through MS Works Fund for workforce training. The company also qualifies for the Advantage Jobs Rebate Program, which provides a rebate to eligible businesses that create new jobs exceeding the average annual wage of the state or county in which the company locates or expands. Alcorn County and the City of Corinth are providing grant funds and in-kind assistance for infrastructure improvements. The ARC and TVA also are providing grant assistance for the project.

TIR said it was also attracted to the Corinth area because it has a skilled forest products workforce - one that includes well-trained and highly experienced mill workers and other forest products professionals, like loggers, truckers and silvicultural contractors.

"The decision by Timberland Investment Resources to locate a state-of-the-art sawmill in Corinth demonstrates to companies here and around the world that Mississippi has robust natural resources that allow for the growth and long-term success of companies in the agribusiness industry," said MDA Interim Director John Rounsaville. "The addition of 130 new jobs in particular is paramount to rebuilding our state's economy and communities during these challenging times. We appreciate our partnerships with The Alliance, Alcorn County, the Appalachian Regional Commission and the Tennessee Valley Authority, which were critical to bringing these new opportunities to the citizens of North Mississippi."

"This is a major win for our community," said The Alliance President Clayton Stanley. "We are thrilled to welcome Mission Forest Products to Alcorn County and thankful for their commitment of a massive capital investment and high-paying jobs. This is the type of win so many in our organization and community have been working toward for a long time, and we look forward to a long and successful partnership with the company."

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