By Steve Swogetinsky

Kemper Messenger

Emilia Resources is in the process of adding a 100,000 square foot manufacturing building in DeKalb and more expansion appears to be on the way.

Emilia, based in Israel, is a manufacturer of over-the-counter cosmetic and personal care items. The project was announced earlier this year. It is a $1 million corporate investment and is expected to create 27 new jobs. The company will open bids on December 14 for the project.

It is hoped construction of the new building will begin in early 2019 and the building is expected to be completed by the fall.

“They need additional capacity,” said Craig Hitt, executive director of the Kemper County Economic Development Authority. “Emilia is getting new contracts in the United States. And they are bringing existing products that are now being made Israel. It is more beneficial for them to make those products in the United States then making them in Israel and shipping them over here to be sold.”

The expansion also involves a 21,000 square foot addition to the company’s existing facility and the purchase of new equipment.

This is the second expansion for Emilia in less than a year. The company invested $150,000 and added 30 jobs in the earlier expansion.

When the new building is completed, Emilia will employ 140 people. And there appears to be more to come.

Company officials met with local and state officials earlier this week

“We are talking about another (new) building after this,” Hitt said. “We may need more than that in the future if they keep growing.”


Other EDA projects

The Emilia expansion is one of several projects Hitt and Kemper County are working on to grow jobs here.

The Kemper County board of supervisors is in the process developing two new industrial sites in the county, one located west of DeKalb and the other near Scooba. Both sites have development needs to make them competitive.

“We have the 50 acres site west of DeKalb,” Hitt said. “We are working to get water and sewer to that site. We hope to accomplish that project in 2019.

“Then we have to 27 acre site on Highway 45, south of Scooba,” Hitt said. “It needs natural gas. It is a previous industrial site, pretty much shovel ready. But we know we need to get natural gas to it.

Hitt added that the town of Scooba and East Mississippi Community College also do not have natural gas service. This project, when completed, will provide them that service.”

“We hope after the first of the year to have an announcement on proceeding with that,” said Hitt. “It is at a minimum eight miles to where we could connect and get it to EMCC and the town of Scooba, so it is going to be a very expensive project. But the county is committed to making it happen, whatever we have to do.”