Baptist Health Systems acquired the Leake Memorial Hospital on October 1, 2011 in a transaction with the Leake County Board of Supervisors. Baptist Leake was constructed as a new hospital facility in this medically underserved area with a $29.7 million investment that features the use of both federal and state NMTCs and tax-exempt bond financing. This is a major investment in the healthcare of a severely distressed rural area in Carthage, Mississippi. Located in a Persistent Poverty County in the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) service area, the investment resulted in an expanded overnight facility, 5 new physicians, 15 new support staff and retention of 111 other high-skilled medical technicians (out of 236 total jobs) in this town of 4,600 residents. Upon a full renovation of the 1940s building, the new facility boasts a 25-bed hospital that offers acute care and swing bed services. The facility also offers MRI, vascular ultrasound, echocardiography, wound care and podiatry services. The Level IV emergency room is staffed by qualified physicians and ancillary staff. Located 68 miles from a Level 1 trauma center and most of the state’s healthcare infrastructure in Jackson, this service expansion in rural Carthage, MS has made an immediate impact in healthcare for thousands of Mississippians. Leake County has been designated by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) as a primary medical care/health professional shortage area.
Burnsville’s 2013 unemployment rate of 35.4% was more than three times the national average. During the 1990’s, Tishomingo County lost approximately 2,500 manufacturing jobs, primarily in furniture and manufactured housing businesses. As the economy began to add back manufacturing jobs in the 2000’s, the Great Recession hit and saw unemployment rise rapidly.The area has faced challenges creating economic opportunities for residents. Due to low educational attainment levels, the county was designated as a low education county (25% or more of residents 25 to 64 years old had neither a high school diploma nor GED in 2000) and one out of every five residents is below the poverty threshold levels. Mississippi Silicon is changing those statistics. The company built and is operating a $200 million silicon metal production facility in Burnsville, Mississippi with the help of RDP’s $20 million NMTC allocation. Silicon metal is consumed throughout the world in a wide variety of applications including the aluminum, automotive, chemical, semiconductor and solar industries. As a company that will be producing in excess of $100 million in product annually, MS Silicon will require large quantities of raw material inputs for its manufacturing processes. On average during the first 10 years of operation, the company will spend over $52 million on raw material inputs such as quartz, coal, wood chips, electricity, and electrodes â€“ materials that serve as the building blocks for the successful production of high grade silicon. While some of these materials (e.g. electrodes) will be sourced internationally, most will come directly from small towns and regions in the Southern and Midwestern United States. Mississippi Silicon has committed to provide at least 200 jobs for an area with high unemployment rate and few alternative employment opportunities. Additionally, the investment in Mississippi Silicon brings necessary infrastructure to the Burnsville Industrial Park. Community leaders hope the infrastructure attracts additional business, industry and jobs to the area. Without the NMTC, this project would not have gone forward.