Nissan officials break ground on a new supply park in Canton for the Nissan plant. Gov. Phil Bryant (center) is joined by local and state officials for the groundbreaking.
Nissan officials break ground on a new supply park in Canton for the Nissan plant. Gov. Phil Bryant (center) is joined by local and state officials for the groundbreaking.
Nissan's plans for a new 1-million square-foot supplier park will elevate not only the automotive plant to new level, but Madison County, according to Madison County Economic Development Authority Executive Director Tim Coursey.

"We will undoubtedly see more new housing development in the Gluckstadt and Canton areas and with it, the need for our schools to have to keep up the pace with new students entering the system," Coursey said. He forecasts that more companies will move to the area to serve not only the Nissan plant but also the plant's employees and suppliers, including more restaurants and convenience-oriented shopping options.

On Tuesday, Nissan executives joined local officials from Madison County and the City of Canton to mark the beginning of a new era for Nissan North America's vehicle assembly plant in Canton. At the groundbreaking, Nissan representatives announced that a one million square foot supplier park will be constructed just north of the existing facility.

"Today, we begin an exciting new chapter in Mississippi as we continue our localization and investment efforts in the United States," said Dan Bednarzyk, Nissan Vice President for Total Delivered Cost. He explained that plans for the $2 billion project include the creation of an integrated logistics center which will serve as an immediate space for both new and existing suppliers.

Once completed, the center will be used for multiple purposes from inbound production parts to outbound returnable containers. The building will provide essential space for on-site suppliers, while further supporting Nissan's overall strategy to increase production in the United States. 

The project will create jobs for over 800 locals, 400 of whom have already been hired by Nissan in anticipation of the project. "Over 6,000 families will be involved in this supplier park. What price can we put on that?" said Governor Phil Bryant as he addressed the crowd. "Thank you, Nissan, for believing it can be Mississippi made."

The Nissan Canton Vehicle Assembly Plant began operations in 2003 and employs more than 5,600 people with an annual payroll in excess of $200 million. By 2015, Nissan officials forecast that 85 percent of Nissan vehicles sold in the U.S. will be built in North America.

"With nearly 250 employees supporting Nissan in Canton, we couldn't be more excited," said Rod Hill, the president of Jackson-based Integrated Management Services. His company is proud of their 10-year partnership with the Nissan Canton Vehicle Assembly Plant.

"(Tuesday's) groundbreaking supports our efforts to bring more Nissan cars and trucks to our plant in Mississippi and means more Mississippi jobs," said Bednarzyk. "Additionally, the supplier park will help make us more globally competitive at our Canton Mississippi plant."

Additional infrastructure improvements will also be made to the current supplier logistics center building located at the south end of Nissan's campus.