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Beyond Polymers

The Hattiesburg area has been able to attract more than just polymer and plastics companies in the past several years, it should be noted. In fact, a new manufacturing plant has opened in the area every year since 1996. Among the newcomers to the city are Kohler Engines, Western Container, Owens Illinois, BAE Systems, a call center and a supplier to Nissan's plant in Canton, Miss. USA Yeast announced in 2002 plans to open a facility in Hattiesburg in which to produce yeast for high-speed, wholesale baking operations in the Southeast and Midwestern U.S.
        "A year ago, we had no available industrial space in this market," says Gray Swoope, president of Hattiesburg's Area Development Partnership. "So we started a spec building program, and as soon as the building opened, two plants closed – Sunbeam and Inland Container. The availability of property has generated more traffic lately than what we would have seen. Part of that may be that the economy is picking up, too."
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