The Pinnacle was filled with movers and shakers from the community as Clarksdale made its second industrial/economic development announcement in two months.
Image Industries will move into the Metso Mineral building on Desoto Avenue and plans to bring a minimum of 50 new jobs to the community. Image Industries is from Chicago and will also bring their corporate headquarters to Clarksdale.
“We are a family-owned business that was founded by my father in 1976,” said Blake Hobson, who along with his sister Stacia Hobson, made the decision to bring Image Industries to Clarksdale. “In our selection process we were looking for a place that seemed right – that seemed like family. We found that in Clarksdale.”
Image is a leader in the design and manufacture of stud welding equipment and studs. They will bring several presses that cold-form the studs to Clarksdale.
Hobson said plans are to be fully operational by the end of the year.
Stacia Hobson said she too, was drawn by the intense sense of community found in Clarksdale and the team effort that recruited them.
“It takes a village,” said Hobson. “We feel we have that village behind us in Clarksdale and we would not have chosen you without it.
“We are very excited and grateful to for the opportunity to come to Clarksdale.”
Metso Minerals closed in November 2016 and big metal building south of town also employed about 50 people and was a manufacturing facility. The Clarksdale/Coahoma County Chamber of Commerce and Industrial Foundation was notified by the Delta Council and Delta Strong and started the negotiations that filled that building in Clarksdale. It was Clarksdale constant inquiring and quickly providing answers that helped seal the deal.
Chamber Executive Jon Levingston said – as with all economic development projects – it was a team effort.
“From the start the two men who were absolutely committed to bringing this project to our community were (Clarksdale) Mayor Chuck Espy and (Board of Supervisors) President Paul Pearson,” said Levingston. “They worked tirelessly to solve problems and bring this company to our community.”
Levingston also pointed to state efforts that will provide the grants that will actually move most of Image Industries presses and machinery to Clarksdale.
Ed Peacock, President of the Industrial Foundation, pointed back to Levingston.
“Clarksdale and Coahoma County are fortunate to have someone like Jon Levingston who can make all the connections for our community,” said Peacock. “He has kept his board informed and solved numerous situations that could have stalled this deal.”
Tom Gresham, President of the Delta Council and a Clarksdale native, said industrial announcements are not made every day, but Delta Council was making two on Tuesday.
“The Delta Council and Delta Strong have taken control of our economic development destiny,” said Gresham. “For years people wrote the Delta off. I believe the best days for the Delta are yet to come.”