Military vehicle manufacturer Navistar Defense will invest $8 million to upgrade a production plant it bought at the beginning of the year in West Point, Mississippi. The company plans to increase its workforce by adding 500 new jobs by 2024.
The West Point Assembly Plant has been Navistar Defense's primary manufacturing site since 2006. The plant is located on 161 acres and has 562,000 square feet of manufacturing, storage and office space comprising five multi-purpose, moving assembly lines.
"The purchase of the assembly plant is a part of our strategic plan to grow our business," said Ted Wright, Navistar Defense CEO. "With the hard work of the local workforce, Navistar Defense has manufactured tens of thousands of vehicles at this facility since 2006. This acquisition shows our commitment to the West Point community and to Mississippi."
The company’s decision to invest in its West Point operations and add hundreds of new jobs is part of its commitment to establishing a long-term presence in Mississippi. Navistar Defense currently has contracts in place enabling the company to maintain long-term sustainability in West Point.
“Navistar Defense is demonstrating its commitment to the Golden Triangle region through this investment in our West Point Assembly Plant,” added Wright. “Enhancing our manufacturing capability and growing our workforce is part of our strategic plan to grow the company. The plant’s large capacity enables us to build on our core military vehicle business and offers the potential to manufacture a variety of additional products.”
The Mississippi Development Authority is providing assistance for building improvements and the Tennessee Valley Authority also is assisting with the project. Navistar Defense also qualifies for the Advantage Jobs Rebate Program, which provides a rebate to eligible businesses that create new jobs that exceed the average annual wage of the state or county in which the company locates or expands.
“Job creation is critical to building strong economies throughout Mississippi. The addition of 500 new jobs at Navistar Defense’s facility in West Point is reflective of Mississippi’s outstanding capacity and workforce talent within the defense industry,” said MDA Interim Executive Director John Rounsaville. “We appreciate the collaboration between MDA, the Golden Triangle Development LINK, Clay County, the city of West Point and TVA, which has proven invaluable as we’ve worked to bring this project to fruition.”
“The commitment that Navistar Defense is making in West Point not only in investment, but in hiring 500 full-time jobs with great benefits is a tremendous investment in our region,” said Joe Max Higgins, CEO of the Golden Triangle Development LINK. “Our existing employers invest large amounts in our region annually, and the Navistar Defense project is just another example of why the Golden Triangle is a profitable place for a business. These hires will be very helpful as we continue to work toward recovering from COVID-related effects.”
Headquartered in Melrose Park, Illinois, Navistar Defense manufactures and sustains tactical wheeled and commercial off-the-shelf military vehicles for the U.S. government and NATO allies, Mississippi Development Authority said.
“TVA and City of West Point Electric System congratulate Navistar Defense, LLC on its decision to expand operations in Clay County and create hundreds of new job opportunities,” said TVA Senior Vice President of Economic Development John Bradley. “It’s always an exciting day when we can celebrate a company’s commitment to continued growth in the Valley, and we are proud to partner with Golden Triangle Development LINK and Mississippi Development Authority to help further Navistar’s continued business success.”