New, state-of-the art plywood manufacturing facility represents $200 million investment by the company and 265 direct jobs for the community
From Staff Reports
A little over a year since a tornado tore through Beaumont destroying homes, churches and the community’s main economic engine, Hood Industries has announced it is building back bigger and better than before.
With Gov. Tate Reeves and many other local, state and federal dignitaries on hand Thursday afternoon, Hood Industries announced its plans to build a state-of-the-art laminated plywood panel manufacturing facility in Beaumont. The Perry County project represents a corporate investment of more than $200 million and will create 265 direct jobs.
“After a devastating tornado shut this plant down, some would have left,” Gov. Reeves told those gathered for the event. “But not this team, and not this company.”
“Today’s groundbreaking is the launch of an incredible comeback story. This $200 million investment will bring 265 good-paying jobs to Beaumont and Perry County and have a tremendous impact on the local community. I congratulate Hood Industries on this exciting day and thank them for their enduring commitment to our state.”
The new manufacturing facility will operate at twice the capacity of the previous facility. Construction is set to begin this summer, and manufacturing will commence in early 2025. Hood Industries plans to fill the jobs over the next four years.
“The mill has been one of the cornerstones of our company because of the support received from the community of Beaumont, Perry County and surrounding areas and the hard work of our excellent employees,” said Warren Hood, Owner and CEO of Hood Companies. “We are excited to be able to rebuild the facility into one of the most modern plywood plants in North America.”
The Mississippi Development Authority (MDA) is providing assistance for infrastructure improvements and site development. AccelerateMS is providing a Mississippi Works grant to support the critical training needs of Hood Industries and will support the company’s long-term workforce goals and objectives for this project. Perry County and the Town of Beaumont are also assisting with the project.
“It is a great day for Beaumont and Perry County,” said Perry County Board of Supervisors President Richard Lott, who once was employed at the facility. “We are very excited that Hood Industries chose Beaumont for the location of their new facility.”
Beaumont Mayor Scott Daily agreed.
“Hood has been a staple of our community for decades, and we look forward to many years of growth for both the company and the town,” said Mayor Daily. “Mr. Hood and his company are the model for hard work, commitment and dedication, and the town is excited to have this plant building back to full operation.”
Daily, who is also a minister, momentarily stole the show at the event when he referenced the importance of Hood to the economic health of the community and recounted his own experience working at the plant in Beaumont.
“Since Hood’s been down, Beaumont’s been on life support,” Mayor Daily said, directing his comments to Warren Hood. “Well, take the ventilator off.”
“I worked for you for one day in 1997. I’ve been preaching the gospel ever since.”
The Beaumont facility was the first wood products manufacturing facility for Hood Industries after the organization purchased the facility 40 years ago. Since that purchase in 1983, the company has expanded its footprint considerably with a mix of wood manufacturing and distribution operations that includes one plywood manufacturing plant, four lumber manufacturing plants and 15 specialty wood products distribution operations. With locations in 14 states, Hood Industries serves the Northeast, Southeast and Southwest United States.
The April 17, 2022, tornado threatened to take Beaumont and Perry County out of mix for Hood Industries. The storm caused significant damage to the plywood facility and the deemed the mill inoperable. But, after months of considering all possible options, the company made the decision to reinvest in Beaumont.
“Perry County and Beaumont are both very special to Hood Industries,” said Jay Galloway, President of Hood Industries. “Even after we surveyed the damage of last year’s tornado, we wanted to rebuild where it all started.”
“We are part of this community, and they are part of us.”
The new plant will not only be a boon for the local community and county. Several officials gathered in Beaumont on Tuesday lauded the project as huge economic driver for the entire Pine Belt region and the state as a whole.
“Today’s announcement from Hood Industries is great news for Mississippi’s economy and underscores the importance of agriculture, forestry and wood products to our state,” MDA Deputy Director Laura Hipp. “We’re proud to support this project through infrastructure improvements and site development, and we’re grateful for the partnership of Perry County and the Town of Beaumont. We look forward to seeing this new facility in operation and the positive impact it will have on the local community and our state as a whole while demonstrating to the world that Mississippi is the place to be for long-term success in this important sector.”