(Tunica County, MS) James Dunn remembers when the only jobs in Tunica County came from farming and a small pillow factory.
How times have changed.
Tunica now has casinos, a high-tech pipe factory, and on Tuesday, leaders broke ground on a new automotive parts factory.
"For a long time, it was just a dream, but now, it’s a reality and I’m very proud of it,” said Dunn, who helped guide the County through the changes as a county supervisor.
Tunica is now part of Mississippi’s plan to take advantage of a boom in auto manufacturing across the South.
"What we’re trying to do is, develop a Southern automotive corridor that passes through Mississippi,” said Governor Phil Bryant, R-Mississippi.
Feuer Powertrain will put about 300 people to work here, paying about 40 grand a year.
The company will make parts for the Cummins diesel engine for the new Nissan Titan pickup to be built in Mississippi.
”We are already having business with General Motors, for example. We have business with Chrysler and we supply from our European operation and we area looking forward to feed the American market out of Tunica,” said Bernd Gulden of Feuer.
He says Tunica has available land and a willing workforce.
Another Reason Feuer gave Tunica County a close look is the success here of another German company.
The Shultz Company moved in a few years ago and has been quite impressed with its decision.
The governor expects more announcements like this, saying, "Companies like Feuer can certainly send the word across the world, Mississippi is open for business."
And Dunn is looking forward to more economic change in what was once the poorest place in America.
"Well this is really gonna open up a lot more opportunities here in Tunica."