WEST POINT, Miss.–The Navistar Plant is West Point will continue its work upgrading Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle for the U.S. Army, thanks to a $31.1 million contract announced Thursday.
That means people will continue to work at the plant, which had been in trouble in the past couple of years when the demand for the vehicles by the Army dipped and people had to be sent home. That happened in 2013. In 2014, the plant was awarded a contract that put them back in business.
Sen. Thad Cochran’s office announced Thursday that the new contract will be complete in July 2016.
“I’m pleased the Army continues to have confidence in the capability of Mississippi’s manufacturing base to carry out this important work,” said Cochran.
Cochran indicated that Army has exercised an option to an existing contract for the Mississippi plant to continue its replacement of mandatory parts and repairs to MRAP MaxxPro vehicles, bringing them to a Condition Code-A, or “like new,” standard. Overall the estimated cumulative total value of the contract is $73.5 million.
Funding was approved by Congress as part of the FY2015 appropriations for the U.S. Army, said Cochran, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense.
Clay County has traditionally had some of Mississippi’s highest unemployment rates, thanks to the closing of the Bryan Foods plant.
Yokohama Tire is set to open soo, with 500 jobs initially. More could come if the company expands its West Point production.