Jobs: Development gains momentum

After months of high unemployment and a stagnant jobs market in Mississippi, it appears that the state’s economic development efforts are finally gaining momentum.

Gov. Haley Barbour and officials from Toyota officials formally announced Monday that the company was resuming hiring at its Blue Springs plant.

“We have looked forward with great anticipation to the day when Toyota was ready to fully staff its Blue Springs facility, and that day has come,” Barbour said.

When Toyota announced in February 2007 that it was locating an automotive assembly plant in north Mississippi, the company committed to creating 2,000 direct jobs. In 2008, the company announced a delay in the start of production at Blue Springs based on market conditions and the recession.

Toyota is expected to begin producing the best-selling Corolla model at the Blue Springs plant in the fall of 2011.