Small-engine maker moving work from Wisconsin to Mississippi

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HATTIESBURG, Miss. (AP) -- A maker of small engines is consolidating operations from Wisconsin to Mississippi, with plans to hire 250 people there over the next two years.

Local economic developers said Tuesday that Kohler Co. will invest more than $15 million in a new Hattiesburg facility, moving the work from its headquarters in Kohler, Wisconsin.

Kohler will lease 300,000 square feet (28,000 sq. meters) in an industrial park to assemble gasoline-powered engines. An existing Kohler lawnmower engine plant in Hattiesburg employs 350.

Mississippi Development Authority spokeswoman Tammy Craft says state and local governments could offer Kohler more than $18.5 million in tax breaks and subsidies.

Privately held Kohler didn't immediately respond to questions about what will happen to workers in Wisconsin.

New Mississippi workers are projected to make $45,000 a year, on average.