Milwaukee Tool Expands its Footprint in Mississippi

By Matthew McMullan
Aug 30 2021 |
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The company says it’ll create over a thousand new jobs in the state in the coming years.

It’s raining very hard in Jackson, Mississippi right now as Hurricane Ida moves inland from the Gulf of Mexico, and even though it rarely rains where I live, it doesn’t look fun. I hope everybody stays safe and the power stays on.

But here’s a bit of good, weather-unrelated news for the Jackson area that broke last week: Milwaukee Tool — the power tool company whose products are sold at nationwide retailers — is expanding its already sizable manufacturing presence in the state. If you live in the area, you might have caught the announcement on local TV that the company is leasing a facility in Clinton that it says will initially create 200 jobs (and possibly up to 400):

Milwaukee Tool has a long history in Mississippi. Jackson was actually the location of the company’s first manufacturing facility outside of Wisconsin back in the 1970s. In the decades since, the brand has been sold to a number of different holding companies, and its current parent is Hong Kong-based Techtronic Industries.

As such, many of the power tools it makes are imported. And just as my colleague Beth noted when Black & Decker bought up the Craftsman brand and announced it would again be made in America, this Mississippi announcement is a business decision. It’s all about that biz. The company sees value on its balance sheet to expanding its manufacturing presence in the United States, most of which is already in the Magnolia State, and so that’s what it’s doing. According to the mayor of Clinton the company isn’t receive any tax incentives or public financing for this expansion.

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Perhaps the last 20 months of supply chains strained and slowed by coronavirus-caused bottlenecks really drove the point home that it’s beneficial to locate your operations close to (or in) the market you’re selling into, but the company says this has long been in the cards. The numbers appear to bear that out: It was just in April that Milwaukee announced it would build a facility in nearby Grenada, and 16 WAPT News in Jackson notes Milwaukee’s statewide employee headcount has grown from 526 in 2010 to 3,659 now. All of this is part of the company’s stated plans to create 1,200 more jobs statewide in the next eight years.

That’s good news for Mississippi’s manufacturing footprint! So the next time you’re looking at one of these Milwaukee Tool power tools at Home Depot, you’ll likely still find a “Made in China” label on the box. But that’s not a sure thing. It’s worth checking, as more of its products are being made in United States.