Wayne County has the distinction of being older than Mississippi itself -- tracing its founding to 1809. Now, more than two centuries later, people are finding out that Wayne County's growth potential has never been greater and it is poised to meet the needs of the 21st Century marketplace.
And while our 20,664 residents are the most valuable resource we have, the area is blessed by its keen location, superb infrastructure and unsurpassed quality of life.
Bordered by Alabama to the East and lying in the heart of Mississippi's Pine Belt Region, Wayne County has the unique advantage of being in close proximity to numerous metropolitan areas in Mississippi (notably Jackson, Hattiesburg, Meridian and Biloxi-Gulfport), Alabama (including Mobile and Montgomery) and Louisiana (including New Orleans).
The area is directly served by two major four-lane United States highways -- U.S. Highway 45 that runs from Mobile, Ala., to Ontonagon, Mich., connecting the Gulf of Mexico with Lake Superior, and U.S. Highway 84 that runs from Midway, Ga., to Pagosa Springs, Colo., which is better known as the El Camino Corridor.
The region is also served by four Interstate highways -- Interstate 10 along the Missississippi Gulf Coast is 105 miles away at Pascagoula, Interstate 59 is 28 miles away in Laurel, Interstate 20 is 53 miles aways in Meridian and Interstate 65 is 83 miles away in Mobile, Ala.
The county is served by Waynesboro Municipal Airport, which is located off Mississippi Highway 63 within the corporate limits of Waynesboro. The airport has a 5,000-foot landing strip, airplane storage facilties and a 24-hour credit-card operated fueling system.
Rail service is provided by Meridian Southern Railroad between the Wayne County Industrial Park and the regional rail hub at Meridian. Efforts are under way to explore opportunities to extend rail service -- discontinued in 1984 -- back to the coastal sea ports of Mississippi and Alabama.
Recreational opportunities abound with Maynor Creek Water Park, which offers 450 acres of rest and relaxation to residents and visitors alike -- providing a destination for fishing and camping in the beautifully preserved countryside and for meetings and retreats in the rustic cabins and buildings scattered throughout the park. We also have a number of community parks and activity venues spread throughout the county.
The pristine Chickasawhay River and meandering Buckatunna Creek provide fishing and canoeing opportunities.
Wayne County, Mississippi, is an industrial and retail hub because of its central location and wealth of human and natural resources. Our unique location provides almost unlimited possibilities, and it is our people that make them a reality. Wayne County enjoys the benefits of growth while maintaining its rich heritage of Southern hospitality and community spirit.
Wayne County's retail trade service area encompasses more than 113,000 residents in Mississippi and Alabama.
Wayne County, Mississippi, welcomes and supports business ventures that create new opportunities for our people. You can see it in the incentives and tax advantages offered, and you can also see it in the pro-business attitudes of leaders.
Top reasons to do business in Wayne County:
1. Favorable operating climate, which includes low taxes and land costs, affordable utilities and one-stop environmental regulation. We are eighth in the nation in terms of lowest cost of living.
2. Strategic location in the South Central U.S., with 55 percent of the nation being within a one-day drive from Wayne County. Mississippi has the 10th best highway system in the nation, and Wayne County sits as the intersection of U.S. 45 and U.S. 84. We also have rail service as well as a community airport.
3. Quality workforce and state-sponsored training. We are third in the nation when it comes to competitive labor costs.
4. A fair legal system with the Tort Reform Act of 2004.
5. Progressive financial and tax incentive programs at the local and state levels. Mississippi has been ranked as the ninth best state in the nation for doing business.