More details became available Wednesday concerning The Middleby Corp.’s move to bring 200 new jobs to Leflore County by relocating its Lynx Grills operations from Downey, California.
Gov. Phil Bryant is expected to help welcome the company to Mississippi in a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 10:30 a.m. Friday at the former Viking Range dishwasher plant, 62201 U.S. 82 West.
Tim Tyler of Viking Range, also owned by Middleby and a sister company to Lynx Grills, said Lynx will hire 100 people immediately as it ramps up production starting in September.
An additional 100 people will be hired over the next five years.
The move to Leflore County was made to take advantage of Greenwood’s central location, in comparison to suburban Los Angeles. The company indicated it could better serve customers and be more responsive to delivery options across the country from Mississippi instead of California.
Viking Range President Kevin Brown said Wednesday the company has been building Lynx-designed grills under the Viking brand at the plant.
He said Lynx is “a premium brand in the outdoor cooking area,” with products ranging from pizza ovens to grills and outdoor kitchens. Lynx Grills selling for more than $10,000 are advertised online.
“We’re excited about it,” Brown said. “It’s going to be great for Leflore County. Lynx is a great brand.”
The 87,000-square-foot building was formerly the location for production of Viking dishwashers but had ceased operation in 2015.
Tyler said the entire Lynx Grills company will be relocated to Leflore County, with new jobs for engineers, accountants, metal finishers, welders, warehouse supervisors, assemblers, machine operators, electronic specialists and maintenance mechanics.
He said the pay would meet or exceed the average annual wage paid in Leflore County for the various positions.
“Over the next five years, The Middleby Corp. is investing $5 million for this project,” Tyler said in an email. “The Mississippi Development Authority is providing assistance for the workforce training, building improvements and to relocate equipment.”
Tyler said the company also qualifies for the Advantage Jobs Rebate Program, a state program that provides cash rebates to eligible businesses that create jobs that meet or exceed the average annual wage of the state or county in which the companies locate.
The economic development arm of Cooperative Energy, a consortium of 11 electricity co-ops, will provide assistance for workforce training for the new facility, according to Tyler.
In addition to local tax abatements, the city of Greenwood, Leflore County and the Greenwood-Leflore-Carroll Economic Development Foundation committed $500,000 in local incentives to encourage location of the plant within the county.
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