Protesters ask for inclusion plan from Continental Tire - WLBT.com - Jackson, MS

Protesters ask for inclusion plan from Continental Tire

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
CLINTON, MS (WLBT) -

Continental Tires doesn't plan to start production till 2018 or 2019, but not everyone feels welcomed in the celebration of the big business.

"No one stands alone," chanted the crowd of protesters outside of Clinton City Hall.

Antonio Pope said his organization is representing minority contractors who want a bigger piece of the pie during the Continental Tire build out.

"Continental's here," Pope stated. "To those who say they're not here, Continental's here. We've given them incentives. They've taken the money. They're making plans to cut ground."

He claimed the company's other projects have only had 2% minority inclusion.

"We want Continental to be aware of what the issues are and come talk to minority contractors," noted Pope. "So we can explain to them, not the establishment or the legislators, not those guys, the ones who are actually going to be to working for them."

Some community members looking at the protest said, why now?

"When we work together, we do better," explained Bishop Carey Sparks. "And I believe the Mississippi is better than this and we ought to build a collaborative relationship and reach out to Continental in a different way."

Hinds County Supervisor Robert Graham said the group protesting never checked to see if an inclusion plan existed. If they had, they would have discovered that both the company and county have one.

"What are you protesting?" asked Graham. "I mean, we haven't even turned dirt yet. How can you say you're being excluded when no one has been included at this particular point or excluded?"

As a reminder, Continental Tires is set to bring 2,500 jobs to the area and they expect it to be big enough that they'll have to pull skilled workers from several surrounding counties.

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