-- Joe Max Higgins has attracted about 6,000 manufacturing jobs back to an
area of Mississippi that lost thousands of them since the 1990s. He’s
done it by aggressively pursuing corporations with tax breaks,
ready-to-build sites and other incentives. But a critical element of his
strategy is to provide a jobs ready workforce trained in the “advanced
manufacturing” skills new factories require. Higgins explains to Bill
Whitaker how he brings jobs back to one of the poorest areas of one of
the poorest states in the U.S.was on 60 Minutes,
Sunday, Dec. 4 at 7 p.m. ET/PT.
During the recession, unemployment hit as high as 20 percent in an area
of Northeastern Mississippi called “the Golden Triangle.” Through the
1990s, factories here provided low-skill work producing goods like toys,
textiles and tubing. Then the area suffered the same fate as many
manufacturing hubs across the country-the plants started closing and the
jobs moved away. That’s when the locals hired Joe Max Higgins.