Stion cuts job creation numbers in half

Stion cuts job creation numbers in half

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Hattiesburg-based solar panel manufacturer Stion is downsizing its projected employment and investment after not being expected to meet original numbers.

The Hattiesburg City Council and the Forrest County Board of Supervisors voted to change the memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Stion, which laid out employment and investment projections.

"Sometimes, given market conditions, we need to make adjustments," Area Development Partnership President Chad Newell said.

When the company came to the Hub City in 2011, they projected creating 1,000 jobs and investing $400 million by 2019. Under the changes in the MOU, those numbers have changed to 500 and $250 million, respectively.

"Basically, we're just trying to gran Stion some breathing room in tough economic times when they are trying to make it work here in Hattiesburg," Newell said.

Stion recently completed Mississippi's first utility scale solar project, and they currently employ 120 individuals. Newell said a loan was given to the company by the state, and neither Hattiesburg nor Forrest County is in debt by bringing Stion to the area.

"The state really had the risk involved on the deal," Newell said, explaining Stion restructured its plan to complete loan payments by the end of 2017.

The change in the MOU was advised by the Mississippi Development Authority and the ADP.