By Ruthie Robison The Webster Progress-Times
Congressman Alan Nunnelee (R-Tupelo) toured Plymouth Tube Co. after participating in a “Q&A” with the Eupora mill’s company leaders on Aug. 15.
Senior Process Engineer Bob Zelinka led discussions and talked about Plymouth Tube’s company philosophy, and the Eupora mill’s plans. “We’re very fortunate to have the jobs we have in Webster County. Manufacturing jobs are hard to come by,” Nunnelee said. “We need to celebrate companies [like Plymouth Tube] that invest in their employees, the economy and create jobs.”
Present in the meeting were Zelinka, Quality Assurance Manager John Wilbanks, Human Resources Manager Karen Walker, Tech Services Manager Holly Pugsley, Staff Accountant Zach Faver, Human Resource Generalist Shawna Pounds, Nunnelee and Field Representative Kelli Jackson.
“I’m really impressed by their philosophy and attitude,” Nunnelee said. “That’s the attitude we need more of in Mississippi.”
Nunnelee discussed ways to bring in more industry to this area of the state, generate more business for Plymouth Tube and ways the government can assist in the future prosperity of manufacturing businesses.
“In Mississippi there are two engines that pull the economic train: Agriculture and manufacturing,” Nunnelee stated. “Jobs here are tied directly to building, construction and the purchase of agriculture. In this economy there is less construction and farmers are not buying equipment.”
Investing in equipment, Nunnelee noted, is what helps Plymouth Tube and companies like it to thrive, which helps both manufacturing and agriculture flourish, supplying jobs and creating economic growth.
“The most important thing Washington can do to assist is to create an environment that helps farmers to invest,” said Nunnelee. With Congress not in session Nunnelee is back home for five weeks using his time off to tour different businesses and constituents in Mississippi’s 1st Congressional District, which he represents.
“It makes me a more effective member of Congress,” Nunnelee stated.
Plymouth Tube Co. is a specialty manufacturer of precision steel tubing, steel and titanium near-net shapes, and steel and titanium cold-drawn shapes. The company, which is family-owned with fourth- generation leadership from president Donald C. “Van” Van Pelt, has 10 manufacturing locations. The Eupora facility was established in 1985 and is 335,00 square feet. The Eupora mill is a specialized tubing manufacturer.
“The economy is under a cloud of uncertainty,” Nunnelee said. “Washington needs to give consumers confidence. The solution is not to raise taxes. The solution is the private sector driving the recovery.”
Nunnelee is up for re-election this November.