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January 31, 2008




About 380 new jobs created for region, officials say


(JACKSON, Mississippi) – Governor Haley Barbour today announced two companies have chosen to locate in North Mississippi. N.E.W. Customer Service Companies, Inc. (NEW) celebrated the grand opening of a Contact Center in Tupelo in Lee County, and Ultralife Batteries held a ceremonial lease signing in West Point to indicate their decision to locate a facility in Clay County. Together, these companies will provide an estimated 380 jobs to North Mississippi, officials say.


At the grand opening of the NEW Contact Center, Governor Barbour was joined by Tupelo Mayor Ed Neelly, the Lee County Board of Supervisors and the Community Development Foundation. The Contact Center, located on Coley Road in Tupelo, is expected to produce about 350 new jobs to the community.


“We are so pleased to have NEW as a member of our business community,” Governor Barbour said. “NEW has a reputation for delivering exceptional customer service and I am confident the workforce of North Mississippi will be instrumental in continuing this rich tradition.”


NEW is the leading provider of extended service plans and buyer protection programs for consumer products around the world. The company’s continued growth and success has made it necessary to expand the company’s contact center operations. While surveying potential locations, Tupelo ranked at the top of NEW’s list, which included more than 200 sites.

In West Point, city officials participated in a ceremonial lease signing with company representatives from Ultralife Batteries, who intend to lease portions of the former Sara Lee facility for their future operations in West Point. The site will serve as a development and assembly facility, creating at least 30 new jobs. Ultralife plans to begin operations in the first half of 2008.

“Ultralife is a major player in the power solutions industry and a welcome addition to Mississippi’s growing technology-driven economy,” Governor Barbour said. “I am confident that Ultralife has found a solid home in West Point with the technology capabilities, skilled workforce and cooperative spirit our people have to offer growing industries.”


Earlier this month, Ultralife Batteries announced the formation of technology partnership with Mississippi State University to develop fuel cell-battery portable power systems, which enable lightweight, long endurance military missions. To develop these power systems, MSU will operate under a $1.6 million program from the U.S. Defense Department, which chose MSU as the prime contractor. Ultralife Batteries, which is subcontracted by MSU, will work with the University to develop, test, and approve prototypes of a new compact military battery used with handheld tactical radios, as well as provide engineering support to ensure successful demonstration of the new battery system.