Barbour Cuts Ribbon On Winchester In Oxford
Yesterday, Haley Barbour cut the ribbon on a new chapter for both the Winchester company and for the Oxford-Lafayette community..
The ribbon cutting celebration was for the creation of the new Winchester Centerfire Ammunition manufacturing facility in northern Lafayette county.
The event celebrated a milestone growth in the operations of Olin Corporation, Winchester Division with the creation of a state-of-the-art facility that will allow more efficient production and customer service.
The people that will be most affected by the initiative are those of the Oxford-Lafayette community, as the facility is expected to bring in over 1,000 jobs to the area.
“Our decision to move down here was a big one for us.” Joseph D. Rupp, President and CEO of Olin Corporation said at the event. ”We are convinced that moving to Oxford was the right decision for us.”
Winchester has been a part of the Oxford-Lafayette community since the opening of its Rimfire operations in 2005 followed by its Military Packing operations in 2008. Since then Winchester has employed more that 300 workers in Oxford.
The move of the Centerfire productions to Oxford represents a large investment of money and man power by the Olin Corporation in the Oxford Community. With the creation of jobs, the $36 million payroll, the $1.35 million in property tax, and the expenses of moving, the facility represents a $100 million investment in the Oxford-Lafayette community.
“When a company like Winchester first decides that they want to move, first they look at states, but at the end of the day they ultimately pick a community.” Governor Haley Barbour said. “They picked Oxford. This is a great choice Winchester.”
The decision to move Winchester operations to Oxford was based on economic advantages to Mississippi, and the available and skilled workforce that the area generates.
“The reason we chose Oxford and this region is the level of available talent and skilled labor.” Thomas O’Keefe, Winchester Ammunition President said. “There’s no question that the people of this area are a tremendous asset to Mississippi.”
A major goal of Olin in this move was to make the transition as seamless as possible. Initial hiring began in early 2011 and the transport of equipment began this September.
“The city, the Mayor,and Board of Alderman were great partners on this.” Governor Barbour said. “They were instrumental partners in what we did here.”
While the ribbon cutting event was iconic in the company’s expansion in Oxford, the facility will continue to be worked on until planned completion in 2016.
“I appreciate the commitment by Olin and the support provided by the Mississippi Development Authority, Lafayette County and the city of Oxford to bring Winchester Centerfire here.” Governor Barbour said.
In short, this major movement by the Olin Corporation, Winchester is planned to improve both the business of the corporation and relationship between Winchester and Oxford.
“Winchester is proud to be a part of the Oxford community now and in the future.” O’Keefe said. ”We are excited to expand our operations here, creating jobs and opportunity.”
I've had the privilege to write content for a variety of publications and digital media, including The Daily Mississippian, The Oxford Eagle, The Red Blue and Green Blog, The Elevator Project, and The Visit Oxford Blog,