Tire plant breaks ground amid concerns over local contracts

Associated Press

continental-tire-and-imsa-partnership-tireCLINTON, Miss. (AP) – Mississippi and Continental AG leaders are celebrating the start of construction of the German company’s $1.45 billion tire plant west of Jackson.

But U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson added his voice at the ceremonial groundbreaking Thursday to those concerned about steering as much of the construction work as possible to local and minority-owned businesses.

The plant is supposed to grow to employ 2,500 workers. State and local governments pledged at least $650 million in cash and tax breaks to lure the German conglomerate to Hinds County.

However, Continental hired a Georgia company to clear the trees, its first major contract, setting off concerns that Mississippi contractors won’t benefit from the construction. Thompson, a Democrat, is urging state and local governments to ensure local businesses get a shot at the work.

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