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Industry work continuing, although at slower pace

Preparatory work for a new Lawrence County industry isproceeding, but has been scaled back, an economic developmentofficial said.

Global Packaging Systems executives are “getting things clearedup” and the industry “is definitely coming,” but have taken aslightly different turn, said Lawrence County Community DevelopmentAssociation Director Bob Smira.

“It’s going to be a slower than we expected,” he said.

The industry will open as Total Supply, a division of GPS, andinitially sell industrial supplies. Once that operation is runningsmoothly, Smira said, the company will bring in the equipmentnecessary to begin producing its main product: biodegradablesuper-absorbent pads.

The products can be “programmed” to begin degradation after acertain time period or even after they receive a shock, such asbeing run over in a landfill.

The initial plan was to begin product start-up operations lastmonth while executives established pre-employment trainingopportunities with Copiah-Lincoln Community College and theDepartment of Employment Security.

Executives with the company are still working to get thepre-employment training in place, and it will likely be at leastMarch before Total Supply is operational. However, Smira isconfident that the business will reach its stated goal of 34employees at the Kellwood building by the end of the year.

“Eventually, as they expand, the Global presence here willexpand and Monticello will become their headquarters,” Smirasaid.

GPS has a presence in several other cities nationwide.

In other activity, the city and county continue to pursue otherindustries for location here, Smira said.

“We have had some other inquiries that I cannot divulge,” hesaid. “We have some other opportunities we’re working on, butnothing that we can announce yet.”