OXFORD, MS (abc24.com) - Winchester Ammunition is expected to bring in millions of dollars and more than a thousand jobs to Oxford, Mississippi.
The company spent $100 million dollars to build a new plant, which opened Wednesday, October 12, 2011. Winchester will be one of the town's largest employers.
"Every good, red-blooded Mississippi boy has grown up with a Winchester label," said county supervisor Johnny Morgan.
Soon, a thousand more Oxford residents will wear Winchester labels. They'll be part of the workforce the company expects to hire at its new production plant. 350 people currently work at Winchester. Over the next five years the company expects to have more than 1,300 employees.
"When I was at Ole Miss a few years ago, Oxford didn't have but 10,000 people living here," joked Governor Haley Barbour. "1,350 jobs at one facility? That's an enormous number of jobs."
40,000 people live in town now. Winchester will be the third largest employer in Lafayette County. The ammunition company has already hired 100 people, and will add at least that many more by the end of this year.
"We post all jobs on our website and we encourage people to keep watching because we'll continue to post as we hire for additional positions," said HR manager, Valerie Peters. "The high skilled positions pay upwards of $25/hour. We have starting jobs at $13 or $13.50 per hour."
"There's never a bad time to get Winchester to come to your area and hire 1350 people," Barbour told abc24.com. "However, this is an even better time."
Winchester has had a plant in Oxford since 2005. This newest addition is expected to add almost a million and a half more tax dollars to the local economy each year. Construction on the plant started in January 2011. The company's moving from Ohio to Oxford. It will take five years to transfer all the equipment to the new plant.