ANNVILLE, Ky. -- A Jackson County company nearly destroyed by a fire in January has received a $15 million contract to manufacture high-tech baggage screening systems for small and medium-sized commercial airports.
Mid-South Electronics in Annville signed the deal three months after the devastating fire destroyed most of the company's main building. The damage forced the company to briefly halt production.
"The employees and leadership at Mid-South Electronics have done a great job of picking themselves up from what was a potentially devastating blow," said U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers, R-Somerset, in a statement announcing the contract on Monday.
Employees at Mid-South facilities in Kentucky will assemble approximately 100 explosive detecting machines, a product developed by Reveal Imaging Technologies of Bedford, Mass.
The Transportation Security Administration in December approved the machines, which are less than half the size and cost of traditional SUV-sized baggage screening systems.
Congress appropriated $30 million to install such machines. Rogers, chairman of the House Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, was involved in securing that funding.
"Ultimately, this means passengers will spend less time standing in line at airport checkpoints, the government will spend less money on unnecessary screeners, and aviation security will improve dramatically," Rogers said.
Mid-South Electronics is a subsidiary of Mid-South Industries based in Gadsden, Alabama. Mid-South is the largest employer in the Jackson County area and currently has about 800 workers.
Jerry Weaver, president of Mid-South Industries, thanked Rogers for his help in generating additional work for the company.
The congressman helped Mid-South "re-establish the manufacturing base that was here before the disaster that destroyed our facilities," he said.