By Terry Harpole For the WPT
MABEN — Congressman Alan Nunnelee on Monday paid a welcome visit to one of Maben’s newest businesses on Industrial Park Road.
The 1st District Republican representative from Tupelo was accompanied by his wife, Tori, and two of his aides from the Washington office. He and his group visited at the old Maben Manufacturing buildings and made a tour of the business.
This business was once owned by Jackson Manufacturing of Houston and until recently had sat vacant for around 12 years. The company that bought the business is Main Street Forest Products of Spartanburg, S.C., whose CEO is Jimmy Hunt.
The president of the Maben company knew Hunt personally and convinced him that he knew of a place suitable for his business to expand. That place was Maben, Miss. Main Street Forest Products in Spartanburg did buy the buildings in Maben, along with the 100 acres of land it is on. The building under the hill on Industrial Park Road, Main Street Casual Living, now has a small crew and is expected to soon employ 100 people making lift chairs for medical groups. The frame mill up on the hill is making the frames for the chairs.
The officials of the Maben company are Pat Ramey, president, and Bob Klimek and Jim Hunt, son of the Spartanburg CEO Jimmy Hunt, as frame mill managers.
After arriving at the Maben business Monday morning, Nunnelee, his wife and two aides were given a tour.
In the manufacturing of lift chairs for medical companies, any business must comply with many rules and regulations set up by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which keeps close watch and regularly inspects the work in making the product.
Nunnelee assured officials with the Maben company that if they ever have any problems or obstacles with the FDA, they should contact him and he would assist.
Nunnelee, while serving in the Mississippi House of Representatives, was chairman of the powerful Appropriations Committee, and now is serving on the Appropriations Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives, which is rare for a freshman representative.
After a tour of the plant where the chairs are being made and a tour of the frame mill on the hill, Nunnelee said he was proud of Maben, town officials and the officials of Main Street Forest Products for bringing new life to Maben. He also said he was proud of helping to improve the area’s economy and pledged to help in any way he could in the future.