Welcome to The Community Development Foundation Media and Press Release page. If you are a member of the media, please contact us and ask to be placed on our Media Contact list.
Each Press Conference and Press Event will include a press packet with printed and digital media in it for your use. Below you will find a listing of recent press releases. Please select one for more information and a corresponding downloadable PDF of each announcement.
If you have any other questions about a press event, please contact Mallory Lawson, Director of Communications and Public Relations at 662.842.4521, fax at 662.841.0693 or email her at email@example.com.
Tupelo, Miss. (Jan. 17, 2019)– A sold out crowd of over 700 community leaders from all over Mississippi and parts of Alabama and Tennessee, gathered at the Orchard today to attend the Community Development Foundation’s (CDF) one-day leadership summit, IGNITE.
Sutter Street Manufacturing, a wholly-owned subsidiary of specialty home furnishings retailer Williams-Sonoma, Inc., is expanding its upholstered furniture manufacturing operations by opening a facility in Baldwyn, Miss., in Lee County. The project will result in the creation of 350 jobs over five years.
We always want the news to be great when talking about our home Tupelo and North Mississippi. Earlier this week, an article appeared in the New York Times outlining its interpretation of national political elections on local economies. The article contained misleading information about Tupelo; consequently, misrepresenting our current economic reality. This response is not to justify or take a political position, but to the data presented in the article.
The Community Development Foundation will host The State of the Economy conference on March 23, 2017 at the BancorpSouth Conference Center.
Baldwyn, Miss. – Reclining furniture manufacturer Southern Motion is expanding in Baldwyn, Miss., in Lee County, investing $20 million and creating 600 jobs.
Jackson, Miss. –AIA Countertops, a division of Patrick Industries, Inc., is expanding its operations into Baldwyn, Miss. in Lee County, investing $600,000 and creating 60 new jobs.
Tupelo, Miss. (March 7, 2016)- The Tupelo region has been named to Site Selection magazine’s list of the most active micropolitan areas for new and existing industries for 2015. Tupelo ranked fourth in the nation among the 575-micropolitan areas designated by the United States Census Bureau. Since 2005, this is the seventh time the Tupelo region has been named to the list.
Officials from Wey Valve Inc., manufacturer of knife gate valves, announced Friday the expansion and relocation of its operations to Tupelo Lee Industrial Park South with the construction of a 40,000-square-foot manufacturing facility.
GUNTOWN, Miss.—Gov. Phil Bryant and officials from upholstered furniture manufacturer H.M. Richards announced today the company is expanding operations at its location in the Harry A. Martin North Lee Industrial Complex in Guntown, Miss., in Lee County. The project represents a corporate investment of $8 million and will create 500 jobs.
The Community Development Foundation (CDF) has been named one of the Top 20 Micropolitan Economic Development Groups for 2014, by Site Selection magazine. Site Selection names its Top US Economic Development Groups as part of the magazine’s annual Best to Invest rankings.
Gov. Phil Bryant and officials from upholstered furniture manufacturer United Furniture Industries announced today the company is expanding in Mississippi by locating manufacturing operations in the former Lane Furniture facility in Verona.
Officials from Raybern Foods, food manufacturer specializing in heat and serve sandwiches, announce the company is locating manufacturing operations in the former Sara Lee building in Tupelo, Miss., in Lee County. The project represents a corporate investment of more than $10 million and will create approximately 200 jobs. Raybern Foods plans to begin hiring in the first quarter of 2015.
Officials from Philips Lighting announced today the company will be expanding operations at its facility in Tupelo, Miss. The project represents a $2 million investment, allowing the company to retain the facility’s existing employees and create 50 new jobs.
Officials from Challenge Automation, designers and builders of custom and automated equipment, announced today the expansion and relocation of its operations to its new facility at 2725 Old Belden Cir., Ste. D in Tupelo. The project represents an investment of $800,000 and will add 6-10 full-time jobs over the next 10 months.
The retail center will be anchored by Brooks Grocery, a 27,000 square-foot grocery store and will also include a 3,000 square-foot AT&T authorized retailer offering a full line of AT&T cell phones and traditional phone services. Additional retail space is still available.
Tenants of the Renasant Center for IDEAs (RCFI) will soon have access to enterprise grade high-speed broadband Internet service provided by C Spire Business Solutions. Through its partnership with C Spire, the business incubator will increase its current Internet access speeds to 100 Mbps (Megabits per second) as well as become a 1 Gigabit-enabled center with fiber optic infrastructure.
The Tupelo region has been named to Site Selection magazine’s list of the most active micropolitan areas for new and existing industries in the country. Tupelo ranked second in the nation out of nearly 576 micropolitan areas designated by the United States Census Bureau.
Community Development Foundation, Lee County Board of Supervisors, Governor Phil Bryant and officials from vehicle supplier GRAMMER Inc. held an announcement and groundbreaking ceremony in the Tupelo Lee Industrial Park South in Lee County, Miss., at the future site of the company’s newest U.S. manufacturing operations. The entire project represents a total funding of $30 million over the next 5 years and will create up to 650 new jobs in two phases.
SHANNON, Miss.—Gov. Phil Bryant and General Atomics (GA) today announced that the company’s Electromagnetic Systems (EMS) Group is relocating the production components of several well-established product lines from the former GA Electronic Systems, Inc., which recently merged with EMS, to their state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Shannon, Miss. The project represents an $11 million company investment and will create 80 new jobs, bringing the total number employed by GA in Lee County to 150.
Shannon, Miss. (December 4, 2013) – Officials from Industrial Timber, manufacturer of wood furniture frames, have announced the company is expanding operations at its facilities in Shannon, Miss., in Lee County and Ripley, Miss., in Tippah County. The Shannon project will create 40 new jobs, and represents a $600,000 capital investment with $832,000 in new payroll for Tupelo/Lee County.
Tupelo, Miss. (November 26, 2013)- Officials from Prime Designs, Inc. have announced its new line of official Duck Commander upholstery, furniture, and case goods. The new line was first introduced October 18 at High Point Market in High Point, North Carolina. Duck Commander Company, owned by the Robertson family of the successful A&E reality television show Duck Dynasty, signed an exclusive agreement with Prime Designs, Inc. to produce the line from the company’s Tupelo, Miss. plant. The new line represents a $500,000 capital investment and will create 80-120 jobs over the next year.
PLANTERSVILLE, Miss.—Gov. Phil Bryant and officials from Posturecraft Mattress Company announced today the company is locating bedding manufacturing operations in Plantersville, Miss., in Lee County. The project represents a $1.75 million company investment and is creating more than 100 new jobs.
Furniture Brands International has filed for bankruptcy and given official notice to the Mississippi Department of Employment Security Commission that over 1,400 employees are expected to be laid off from its Lane Furniture operations in Lee County.
Innovate Mississippi announced that Startup Weekend Tupelo will take place September 27-29 at the Renasant Center for IDEAs. Startup Weekend is an intense 54-hour event powered by the Kauffman Foundation that operates worldwide and brings together entrepreneurs for a weekend of company creation.
Designed for entrepreneurs to pitch software or internet-based business concepts, Startup Weekends are geared toward serial entrepreneurs, programmers, developers, graphic artists and business-minded people to build and develop ideas.
The Community Development Foundation held a ribbon cutting ceremony today to celebrate the Renasant Center for IDEAs’ completed expansion. The project represents the addition of a new meeting room and nine new office spaces increasing the total number of office spaces to 27. Cubicles were also consolidated and relocated to one location within the IDEA hub. Existing flex space located on the second floor was utilized for a significant portion of the project.
The 37th Annual Industry Education Day event was held Thursday, August 1. The purpose of I-E Day is to bring together area educators and industrialists, to promote cooperation and collaboration, to enhance job opportunities for future employees, and to improve the overall economic climate of the region. I-E Day is considered to be an in-service training for participating teachers and is sponsored by area industries.
Verona, Miss. (July 24, 2013) – Governor Phil Bryant and officials from Tecumseh Products Company announced today that the company is expanding operations at its facility in Verona, Miss., to meet the increased global demand for their products. The expansion represents a significant multi-million dollar investment for Tecumseh, retaining 350 jobs at the facility and creating up to 150 new jobs over the next five years.
BALDWYN, Miss.—Officials from Advanced Innovations East, a subsidiary of Sleep Innovations, and state and local officials broke ground Thursday, May 30 on a 108,000-square-foot expansion at the company’s location in the Harry A. Martin North Lee Industrial Complex in Baldwyn, Miss. The project represents a $4 million company investment and will create 50 jobs over the next two years.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce presented Congressman Nunnelee of Mississippi with the annual Spirit of Enterprise award for his support of pro-jobs, pro-growth policies during the second session of the 112th Congress.
Forty-nine graduates of the Mississippi Scholars program were recently recognized during senior award ceremonies at Mooreville High School, Nettleton High School, Saltillo High School, and Shannon High School. Since 2003, Lee County schools have participated in the program designed to motivate students to enroll in rigorous high school courses that will prepare them for college and careers. Tupelo City Schools began participation in 2011 and will graduate its first class of Mississippi Scholars in 2015.
Mr. Victor H. (Hu) Meena, president and chief executive officer at C Spire Wireless, will speak at the October First Friday networking breakfast. The event will be held Friday, October 5 at 7:00 a.m. at the BancorpSouth Conference Center.
Karen Geddie has been named vice president of the Chamber of Commerce for the Community Development Foundation (CDF). CDF is the economic development organization for Tupelo/Lee County, and also houses the Chamber of Commerce. The detail-oriented, focus-driven experience that Geddie brings to the organization will assist her in promoting CDF’s mission of creating jobs, developing communities, and fostering business.
One year after it was created, IDEA Hub continues to meet a growing need for small business owners in the Tupelo/Lee County area. IDEA Hub offers affordable cubicle space for new and expanding businesses, with all of the support currently offered through the Renasant Center for IDEAs, Tupelo/Lee County’s regional business incubator.
The Community Development Foundation (CDF) will debut its new format for First Friday, the premier networking opportunity for Northeast Mississippi, at its September breakfast meeting. Held the first Friday of each month, September through April, First Friday engages CDF members by offering quality business networking, along with a relevant nationally recognized speaker.
General Atomics’ Electromagnetic Systems (GA EMS) Group broke ground today on an expansion to its existing 127,000-square-foot facility in Shannon, Miss., in Lee County. The expansion project represents a $12 million corporate investment and will create 25 additional direct jobs over the next three years.
The Tupelo Redevelopment Agency ("TRA") today announced that it is joining into a partnership agreement with the Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Coliseum Commission, the Community Development Foundation, and the Downtown Tupelo Main Street Association to fund a market analysis for a potential entertainment venue in Tupelo's downtown Fairpark District.
The Community Development Foundation (CDF) will close at 12:00 noon today for the relocation of its offices to the new CDF Center at 398 East Main Street in Downtown Tupelo’s Fairpark District.
The annual Northeast Mississippi Economic Forecast Conference will be held Tuesday, January 24 at the BancorpSouth Conference Center. The event will begin with coffee and networking at 8:30 a.m., with the conference commencing at 9:00 a.m.
Officials from Tecumseh Products Company announced today that it will make a major investment in equipment for its Tupelo facility with a goal of this project to make TPC’s Tupelo facility its global flagship manufacturing operation.
Airline Maintenance Services, Inc. (AMS, Inc.), a provider of retail aircraft maintenance services, announced today that it will expand its operations to the Tupelo Regional Airport, investing $130,000 in a significant rehabilitation of existing hangar facilities at the airport.
Together with Governor Haley Barbour and Toyota Auto Body chairman Toshio Mizushima, officials from Lee County, City of Baldwyn, and the Community Development Foundation celebrated the start of production of Auto Parts Manufacturing Mississippi (APMM).
The Pontotoc County, Union County, Lee County Alliance (PUL Alliance) and elected officials of Northeast Mississippi join with Governor Haley Barbour in celebrating the start of production of Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Mississippi.
Hyperion Technology Group, Inc., announced today that it will graduate from the Renasant Center for IDEAs, Tupelo/Lee County’s regional business incubator, and expand the company by investing over $750,000 in a new facility and new equipment. The expansion will create 10 jobs, doubling the current size of Hyperion Technology Group.
The Advanced Innovations / Advanced Urethane Technologies facilities in Baldwyn, MS are celebrating the safety dedication of their employees.
Entrepreneurs who need a small amount of office space now have a new option in the Renasant Center for IDEAs.
When Universal Asset Management announced its plans for expansion and business activity in Tupelo in early 2011, aircraft recycling was a new concept and business model in this community.
The Lee County Board of Supervisors announced today that the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) has awarded up to $60,000 in matching grant assistance to Lee County for the study of a northern Lee County regional wastewater facility.
What is the Tupelo All America Neighborhood Reinvestment Plan?
What is the Tupelo Neighborhood Reinvestment Plan?
Officials from Universal Asset Management Inc. (UAM), a leading provider of commercial aviation asset management, aircraft recycling and component sales, have announced the company is expanding its operations by locating airplane disassembly operations in Tupelo, Miss., in Lee County. The project will create 100 new jobs over the next three years.
The State of Mississippi, Lee County Board of Supervisors, the City of Tupelo, and Cooper Tire & Rubber Company announce today a $9 million capital expansion to the Tupelo/Lee County, MS, plant. This project will also create 35 new jobs.
Despite the passion and good ideas of their founders, many new businesses fail within the first few years. Often that’s because, despite their zeal, entrepreneurs lack the knowledge, tools, and financing required for successfully starting and running a business.
The Community Development Foundation (CDF), in partnership with the Mississippi Development Authority and the Governor’s Job Fair Network, will host a regional job fair Thursday, November 18, at the Tupelo Furniture Market, Building V.
Sleep Innovations, Inc., a market leader in designing and manufacturing customer driven foam product solutions, joined members of the Community Development Foundation (CDF), to announce it will expand the company’s Baldwyn, Mississippi based manufacturing facility. The investment is a significant strategic initiative to support the company’s growth driven by new products and continued innovation.
Hiring for Toyota’s Blue Springs, Miss., plant began one month ago, and the company is currently looking to add 1,500 production and skilled maintenance team members to its Mississippi workforce in anticipation of beginning production of the Corolla, the world’s all-time, best-selling vehicle, approximately one year from now.
Governor Haley Barbour and officials from Toyota Motor Manufacturing Mississippi, Inc. (TMMMS) announced today that the company is resuming hiring at its Blue Springs, Miss., plant.
Today, Cooper Tire & Rubber Company celebrates 25 years of business in Tupelo/Lee County, MS. The plant was dedicated on September 19, 1985.
Governor Haley Barbour announced today that Auto Parts Manufacturing Mississippi, Inc., the U.S. operations of Toyota Auto Body Co., Ltd., will move forward with its plans to provide stamped parts, body weld parts and plastic parts to the Toyota Motor Manufacturing Mississippi plant at Blue Springs.
The Lee County Board of Supervisors and elected officials from the City of Baldwyn are pleased to announce that Auto Parts Manufacturing Mississippi will resume production at its manufacturing facility in the Harry A. Martin North Lee Industrial Complex.
Blue Springs, Mississippi – Governor Haley Barbour announced today the Toyota Motor Corporation is resuming preparations to begin production its north Mississippi plant. The company plans to produce the Toyota Corolla, the best-selling car of all time, at the Blue Springs plant.
The PUL Alliance and elected officials of Northeast Mississippi are elated that Toyota has set a date for start of production to build the Corolla at their eighth North American assembly plant on the Wellspring Project site.
Tupelo Public School District, in partnership with the Community Development Foundation, will present "Conversations with Dr. Shaver," on Thursday, March 25 at 5:30 p.m. at Milam Elementary School.
Governor Haley Barbour, officials from MTD and the Lee County Board of Supervisors announced today the expansion of the company’s Tupelo operations into a 525,000-square-foot, county-owned building adjacent to its current facility in the Tupelo-Lee Industrial Park South. The expansion represents a $6.25 million investment by MTD, a lawnmower manufacturing company, and will create 107 new jobs.
Martinrea Automotive Structures (USA), Inc. announced today the Phase IV expansion to its automotive stamping facility in Tupelo/Lee Industrial Park South. The Phase IV project will mean an additional $7.7 million investment and is expected to create approximately 50 new jobs for Lee County. The 53,000 square foot expansion will add additional crane bay capacity and tool and die storage for new production capacity.
CDF is initiating an affinity program, called ChamberAdvantage, to encourage CDF members to do business with other CDF members. Through this program CDF members are encouraged to offer special discounts, products, or services to other CDF members who participate in the program.
The Mississippi Forestry Commission, in cooperation with the USDA Forest Service, has awarded an Urban & Community Forestry Assistance Challenge Grant to the Community Development Foundation and the Lee County Council of Governments to develop a master plan for ongoing community forestry initiatives for the development of beautification and forestry enhancement projects in the nine municipalities of Lee County. This project, deemed “Beautification Brings Business,” has resulted in the award of Transportation Enhancement Tree Planting Grants to the municipalities of Tupelo, Saltillo, Sherman, Nettleton, Plantersville, and Verona to fund the planting of over 1,500 trees.
The Lee County Board of Supervisors and the Community Development Foundation (CDF) have officially been approved by the U.S. Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration (EDA), for the Phase II expansion of the Renasant Center for IDEAs, Tupelo/Lee County’s Regional Business Incubator, with application made through Three Rivers Planning & Development District.
The Community Development Foundation (CDF) has retained TIP Strategies, an Austin-based economic development consulting firm, to create a ten-year comprehensive economic development strategy for the Tupelo/Lee County Region.
Phil Hoffman, President of InnOvation Seating Solutions, announced today that the company will manufacture seating for hotels and assisted living facilities in the Westwood Industries Building on Glasgow Lane in Tupelo. The company will reach 100 employees at full production in its 100,000 square foot facility.
The Community Development Foundation has been named one of the top ten economic development groups in the United States for 2008, by Site Selection magazine.
The Tupelo region has been named to Site Selection magazine’s list of the most active micropolitan areas for new and existing industries in the country, for the fourth consecutive year. Tupelo ranked second in the nation out of nearly 700 micropolitan areas designated by the United States Census Bureau.
The Renasant Center for IDEAs, the Tupelo/Lee County Regional Business Incubator, is hosting a series of "PeerSpectives® Roundtables" February - June to help business owners learn from their peers.
The Tupelo, Mississippi micropolitan area has been named the 8th least expensive place to live in the United States for the year-end average of 2008, by the ACCRA Cost of Living Index. The Tupelo micropolitan area includes Lee, Pontotoc, and Itawamba counties.
The featured speakers for this year’s event are: Professor Peter Ricchiuti, Assistant Dean in the Freeman School of Business, Tulane University; Dr. Phil Pepper, State Economist, State of Mississippi; and Mr. Mitch Waycaster, Chairman, CDF Board of Directors.
Furniture Jobs Saved by US Foreign-Trade Zones Approvals: The U.S. Foreign-Trade Zones Board approved FTZ manufacturing authority for Lane, H.M. Richards, and Bauhaus USA on December 22, all of which are located within the Greater Mississippi Foreign-Trade Zone #158. This approval will not only enable these companies to maintain their in-house cut-and-sew operations, saving an estimated 950 jobs in Lee County, but will reduce the raw good cost of each company by over $1 million annually.
The Tupelo, Mississippi micropolitan area has been named the 6th least expensive place to live in the United States for the third quarter 2008, by the ACCRA Cost of Living Index. The Tupelo micropolitan area includes Lee, Pontotoc, and Itawamba counties.
A college education is now an option for every high school graduate in Lee County. The Lee County Board of Supervisors and CREATE Foundation have established the Lee County/Marchbanks Helping Hand Tuition Guarantee Program.
The Lee County Board of Supervisors has awarded a construction bid for the Phase II expansion of the Renasant Center for IDEAS, Tupelo/Lee County’s Regional Business Incubator.