Future Pipe Industries will close its Gulfport plant by the end of this year. The shutdown means the loss of nearly 150 jobs.
The worldwide company, headquartered in the Dubai, opened its Gulfport plant in the Harrison County Industrial Park in the spring of 2006. Future Pipe planned on opening several months earlier, but Hurricane Katrina delayed those plans. And now Hurricane Katrina is being blamed in large part for the company's decision to close the Gulfport location.
Future Pipe executive Michael Olivier calls the shutdown a "workforce issue." He told WLOX News, "Since the storm, our workforce reliability is not what it has been in the past."
Olivier says it's a major problem that's also affecting other industrial companies in South Mississippi.
Future Pipe's 146 employees have been notified of the plans to close the facility. Olivier said they have been promised employment "until Christmas."
Michael Olivier helped lure Future Pipe to the coast when he worked as Executive Director of the Harrison County Development Commission. Gulfport was the company's first manufacturing plant in the United States.