State/local leaders react to STION move to Hub City

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Political and academic leaders are continuing to react to the news that a high-tech manufacturing company is locating in Hattiesburg and bringing with it 1,000 new jobs in the coming years.

Last week, California-based STION announced they were locating a major manufacturing facility in the old Sunbeam location at the Forrest County Industrial Park.

The firm makes solar electric panels.

State leaders and the president of Southern Miss are excited about the potential for economic development and research partnerships.

"Their relationship with Southern Miss is, I understand, very close," said Lt. Governor Phil Bryant. "It's something that we're going to be able to work off of and hopefully, pull in more high-tech industries, like STION," Bryant said. "The great thing from my perspective, having served as state treasurer for the last 7 years, is seeing that people from other parts of the country see the value in Mississippi workers and they're willing to bring their jobs here," said state treasurer Tate Reeves. "They're going to need accountants, they're going to need business people, they're going to need many of our graduates to work with them and then of course, our research scientists, like the ones at the Polymer Institute," said Southern Miss president Dr. Martha Saunders.

The company's move to Hattiesburg will mean a $500 million investment in the area over the next 6 years.

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