- Associated Press - Monday, July 18, 2016

BALDWYN, Miss. (AP) - An Indiana company that makes stone countertops plans a factory in Lee County, investing $600,000 and hiring 60 workers.

AIA Countertops, a unit of Patrick Industries of Elkhart, Indiana, announced its plans Monday. Chief Operating Officer Jeff Rodino says the Baldwyn location will help AIA sell countertops to nearby residential, commercial and recreational vehicle furniture makers.

Mississippi Development Authority spokeswoman Tammy Craft says MDA is giving AIA Countertops $100,000 to relocate and install equipment. Community Development Foundation spokeswoman Mallory Lawson says Lee County is giving 10-year property tax breaks worth an estimated $30,000. The Tennessee Valley Authority provided undisclosed assistance.

AIA will lease an existing 110,000-square-foot building owned by Cleveland Properties.

Craft says AIA will take two years to reach 60 jobs, paying production workers $12 to $15 per hour.

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