Toyota PriusBefore Toyota came, Cassius Perry was struggling like many in this hilly, sparsely populated region of north Mississippi that’s shed thousands of furniture manufacturing jobs since the 1990s.

This year Perry landed good pay and health insurance when he went to work for a supplier to the sprawling new Toyota plant on the outskirts of the tiny town of Blue Springs.

Hundreds have been hired, giving local leaders hope that their area will become another Southern automotive boomtown.

The plant is finally set to begin production on Nov. 17, following more than a year’s worth of delays.

(READ the AP story from NPR)

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