Military vehicle manufacturer Navistar Defense, LLC is increasing employment in West Point by adding 500 new jobs. The company also is investing $8 million to upgrade its facility.
“Navistar Defense’s decision to add hundreds of new jobs for the people of Clay County is a strong testament to our state’s business climate and our dedicated, skilled manufacturing workforce,” Governor Tate Reeves said. “Our national government relies on Mississippians to keep our military and allies safe. I know these 500 Mississippians will work hard to maintain Navistar Defense’s high profile within the vehicle manufacturing and defense industries, while continuing its long-standing tradition of quality workmanship in West Point.”
Headquartered in Melrose Park, Ill., Navistar Defense manufactures and sustains tactical wheeled and commercial off-the-shelf military vehicles for the U.S. government and NATO allies. 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,” said Navistar Defense CEO Ted 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. 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. The Tennessee Valley Authority also is assisting with the project.
“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.”
“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.”
Navistar Defense has been located in West Point since 2005. The addition of the 500 new jobs, which the company plans to fill by 2024, brings employment at the West Point facility to 525.