Cooper Tire and Rubber Company Announces Expansion of Tupelo, Miss., Operations

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Tammy Craft, Public Relations 601.359.6556
tcraft@mississippi.org
   
Project to Create 35 New Jobs

Tupelo, Miss. (January 12, 2011) – Officials from Cooper Tire and Rubber Company announced today that the company is expanding operations at its Tupelo, Miss., plant in order to increase production and efficiency at the plant. The project represents a company investment of $9 million and will create 35 new jobs at the facility.

The expansion is the company's second in two years at the Tupelo location; in 2009, Cooper Tire officials announced a $7 million, 32,000-square-foot expansion at the facility, which created 150 new jobs. The 2009 expansion followed the company's decision to close one of its four U.S. locations. After Cooper Tire announced it was closing its Albany, Ga., facility, it realigned products formerly produced there to its remaining three facilities, including Tupelo.

"Cooper Tire is one of the largest employers in north Mississippi, and I am delighted that the company is continuing to grow and create new jobs for area residents," said Gray Swoope, Mississippi Development Authority (MDA) executive director. "This expansion speaks volumes to the state's commitment to its existing businesses. Just two years ago, we were fighting to retain these jobs. Today, we are pleased to have assisted the company in retaining 1,500 jobs and adding 35 new positions."

MDA worked closely with company and local officials to help facilitate the project, providing funding to the city for renovations to the publicly-owned building occupied by the company.

"Cooper Tire is proud to announce the expansion of its Tupelo tire plant facility. This expansion will allow the Tupelo plant to further increase its ability to manufacture more complex tire designs and meet the growing demand for Cooper tires, as well as address issues related to flexibility and self-sufficiency. The expansion will encompass an expenditure of approximately $9 million and will create 35 new jobs in the Tupelo plant,” said Pat Jodon, plant manager of Cooper Tire’s Tupelo facility.

"The partnership and tremendous support the Tupelo plant has received from the State of Mississippi, the City of Tupelo, the Community Development Foundation and the Lee County Board of Supervisors, along with our exceptional workforce at the Tupelo plant, are the primary reasons this expansion has been possible," added Jodon. "I feel this expansion will make our plant stronger and further our objectives of being a major global competitor, strengthen our vision for our facility and help us remain a good community citizen providing solid employment for the area's residents."

Cooper Tire and Rubber Company is a global company that specializes in the design, manufacture, marketing and sales of passenger car and light truck tires and has subsidiaries that specialize in medium truck, motorcycle and racing tires. With headquarters in Findlay, Ohio, Cooper Tire has manufacturing, sales, distribution, technical and design facilities within its family of companies located in 10 countries around the world. To learn more about Cooper Tire please visit the company’s website at www.coopertire.com.

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About Mississippi Development Authority
Mississippi Development Authority is the State of Mississippi's lead economic and community development agency. Nearly 300 employees are engaged in providing services to businesses, communities and workers in the state. While the agency is best known for its efforts to recruit new businesses to Mississippi, the Authority provides services to promote tourism, help communities improve their quality of place, help existing employers identify and meet opportunities and challenges and help workers improve their skills – all with the goal of improving the quality of life and economic well-being of Mississippians. For more information, visit MDA's website at mississippi.org.