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Economic Development News Week of October 19, 2009

October 26, 2009 Leave a comment

“Foreign direct investment has clearly played a major role in the economic development of the Mississippi Gulf Coast region, and I predict that it will manifest itself in a number of different ways in the years to come,” said George Freeland, executive director of the Jackson County Economic Development Foundation.
http://www.sunherald.com/business/story/1681952.html

In 2006, she heard of a chance to return to her home state, for a job at American Eurocopter, part of the EADS consortium, the European airplane and military equipment maker. EADS planned to build a second plant in Columbus, Miss., and make rescue helicopters for the United States Army. Ms. Ryan applied, was hired as a flight test engineer
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/18/business/18excerpt.html?_r=1

Jackson and Hattiesburg have made headway in battling the economic downturn and are among the best places in the nation to start a small business. CNNMoney.com lists the two cities among its 20 best midsized and small cities, respectively, to begin a small business, which the Web site defines as employing 1 to 49 people.
Clarion-Ledger article – http://tinyurl.com/yley2je
Hattiesburg – http://money.cnn.com/smallbusiness/best_places_launch/2009/snapshot/142.html
Jackson –  http://money.cnn.com/smallbusiness/best_places_launch/2009/snapshot/157.html

Okolona-based United Furniture Industries will expand the company’s Okolona operations and adding at least 100 new jobs, company officials announced today.
http://tinyurl.com/yze7qoe

BlueFire Ethanol Fuels, Inc., a company focused on changing the world’s transportation fuel paradigm through the production of ethanol from non-food cellulosic wastes, has announced the strategic relocation of its second planned biorefinery to Fulton, Mississippi.
http://www.clarionledger.com/article/20091017/BIZ/910170338/1005

INFINITY will inspire young people, provide economic development and show the world how Mississippi and Louisiana “are involved in cutting-edge exploration from the bottom of the oceans to the far reaches of space.”
http://www.sunherald.com/local/story/1680964.html

On Oct. 14, the Mississippi Development Authority (MDA) held events around the state for local economic developers during a nine-city rollout of the new PriorityOne program.
http://msbusiness.com/blog/2009/10/mda-introduces-priorityone-program/

Whit Hughes, MDA’s deputy director, told economic developers from Leflore County and surrounding areas at The Alluvian hotel that Priority One will be simpler and less expensive than previous efforts.
http://gwcommonwealth.com/articles/2009/10/15/news/top_stories/10152009news3.txt

Meridian Community College and Lockheed Martin began a partnership a year ago teaching basic aircraft assembly skills at the college’s new Workforce Training Center. . . . Green, along with 34 others that completed the training, was hired on at Lockheed Martin over the course of the last year, with a 100 percent retention rate.
http://waem.tmi.ms/Lockheed%20Martin%20MCC.html

Funding provided through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) has paved the way for numerous overlay projects in Northeast Mississippi.
http://msbusiness.com/blog/2009/10/road-projects-receive-stimulus-funds/ 

They are among 11 residential developments statewide that are splitting $4.3 million in credits awarded by the Mississippi Home Corp.
http://tinyurl.com/yj2pugb

The Enterprise for Innovative Geospatial Solutions (EIGS) housed at The University of Mississippi is pleased to release the economic impact data for Mississippi’s geospatial technology industry cluster for 2009. . . . Mississippi’s geospatial companies continue to create high paying, high technology jobs that are positively impacting the state’s economy.
http://news.gislounge.com/category/eigs/

Brian Wilson, chief economic development officer for Noxubee County, announces his departure from the Noxubee Alliance effective January 1, 2010.
http://tinyurl.com/yzuc4sb

The Mississippi Enterprise for Technology (MsET) has announced the installation of Dr. William A. Lewis, president of Pearl River Community College (PRCC), and Chandler Russ, director of the Mississippi Development Authority’s (MDA’s) Existing Industry and Business (EIB) Division, to its Board of Directors.
http://www.technologyalliance.ms/news-press/view.php?entryID=2955

Congratulations to Barbara Travis for placing 1st Runner-up at the 2009 Ms. Senior America pageant, which was held in Atlantic City October 4-8.
http://tinyurl.com/yzrjgqt and http://tinyurl.com/yjndtnc

Learning why graduates . . .  leave the Pine Belt is the reason behind a recent Area Development Partnership survey of Southern Miss, William Carey University and Pearl River Community College students.
http://www.hattiesburgamerican.com/article/20091013/NEWS01/910130321/1002

The metropolitan area (Memphis) has become one of the most important rail and intermodal centers in the country thanks to the intersection of five Class I railroads – BNSF Railway Co., Canadian National Railway Co., CSX Corp., Norfolk Southern Corp. and Union Pacific Corp.
http://www.memphisdailynews.com/editorial/Article.aspx?id=45343

The Mississippi Arts Commission (MAC) has introduced Arts Reinvestment Initiative (ARI) grants to non-profit organizations statewide to provide support for jobs in the arts that have been lost or are in jeopardy of elimination due to the current national economic downturn.
http://msbusiness.com/blog/2009/10/mac-offering-stimulus-funded-grants/

Mississippians have suddenly found themselves in the midst of emerging new technologies and energy options.
http://www.hattiesburgamerican.com/article/20091014/OPINION01/910140302

The Mississippi Development Authority will host a series of workshops statewide to provide information about the State Energy Program (SEP) and Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) Program. These workshops are designed to educate city and county officials, as well as community and business leaders, about the opportunities available under both programs and to clarify the application processes.
http://www.mississippi.org/index.php?id=724

MEDC Calendar:
November 17 – MEDC Regional Chamber Workshop, Newton, MS “Connecting With Your Members”  – Register now! – www.medc.ms    
December 8 – MEDC Member-to-Member Seminar, Jackson, MS “Existing Industry & Business – A Fresh Approach” with Chandler Russ, Director, EIB Division, MDA

Carol Hardwick, Executive Director
Mississippi Economic Development Council (MEDC)
P. O. Box 3721, Jackson, MS  39207
www.medc.ms 
MEDC 2010 Winter Conference . February 3-5 . Hilton . Jackson
MEDC 2010 Summer Conference . July 21-23 . Beau Rivage . Biloxi

MEDC is Mississippi’s professional association of economic development and chamber of commerce professionals. 

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Chandler Russ to Speak December 8

October 19, 2009 Leave a comment

MEDC Member-to-Member Seminar Series

On December 8, MEDC continues its Member-to-Member Seminar Series in Jackson with “EXISTING INDUSTRY & BUSINESS – A FRESH APPROACH” with Chandler Russ, Director of the Existing Industry & Business Division at the Mississippi Development Authority.  Russ will talk about the EIB Division’s programs and new items they have or may be proposing.  11:30 to 1:00 (lunch included) . $30 registration (advance registration required) . www.medc.msBring a friend or business associate!

MEDC Regional Chamber Workshop Nov. 17

October 19, 2009 Leave a comment

MEDC Regional Chamber Workshop Series

On November 17 the MEDC Regional Chamber Workshop Series kicks off its 2009-2010 season.

“CONNECTING WITH YOUR MEMBERS” will be held at the in Newton from 8:30 to 3:00.  Speakers include Shane Moody, CEO of the Destin Area Chamber, Beth Stevens, Executive Director or the Greenwood-Leflore Chamber, and Chance McDavid, of the MSU MSCAT team.  Topics include membership retention, membership sales, non-dues revenue, benefits of membership, boosting your membership using social media, and MSU’s First Impressions Program.  Registration costs are very low – only $25 for MEDC members and $40 for non-members. 

More information and registration is at www.medc.ms.

Please tell others about this valuable training!

Economic Development News Week of October 12 2009

October 19, 2009 Leave a comment

Jackson County economic development officials must sense that the stars are aligned for a $2 billion energy project in Moss Point.
http://tinyurl.com/yh9x526

Of Mississippians unemployed in July, 16,600 gained jobs in August, putting the state’s jobless rate below the national average of 9.6 percent.
http://tinyurl.com/yb5nzsq

ProVia’s ownership since has sold the operation; Exterior Profiles Corp. is assuming outdoor fence, deck and home products production at the site, creating 34 jobs, said Wilson, who reports company officials hope to employ more than 100 people, “as the market recovers.”
http://www.cdispatch.com/news/article.asp?aid=3192

GreenTech Automotive, Inc. unveiled plans Tuesday to develop and manufacture hybrid, fuel-efficient automobiles on 1,500 acres in Tunica County’s Metro-Mega-site, with an option to purchase more land as needed.  The initial phase of the project is estimated to cost $1 billion and provide 1,500 jobs locally, according to company officials.
http://tinyurl.com/yau2fxm and http://tinyurl.com/y9ozwza

Swoope and his team were ready for downturn and have reacted with more business for state.  Mississippi has made significant gains in economic development despite facing the effects of a national recession, Mississippi Development Authority (MDA) officials said.
http://msbusiness.com/blog/2009/10/mississippi-making-significant-strides/

Pearl native founded company that designs wireless sensor systems that drive down power consumption.  Following his education, he worked in Washington, D.C., but Butler said he always had a desire to return to Mississippi, and in 2006, he founded Camgian in Starkville.
http://msbusiness.com/blog/2009/10/camgian-seizes-on-opportunity/

Alliant Techsystems (NYSE: ATK) played a key role in the successful launch of a United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket for The Boeing Company today from Space Launch Complex 2W at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., carrying DigitalGlobe’s WorldView-2 commercial satellite…  The 10-foot diameter composite payload fairing, encapsulating the payload, was fabricated by ATK’s Iuka, Mississippi facility.
http://tinyurl.com/yhp3rn8

Entergy Corporation is the only energy company included in BusinessWeek magazine’s 2009 “Best Places to Launch Your Career” ranking.
http://tinyurl.com/yj34cyw

The City of Tupelo and the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality will be recognized nationally next month at the National Brownfields Conference for turning an environmentally contaminated area into the popular downtown Fairpark District.  
http://tinyurl.com/ydahdxq

A public hearing is set for Oct. 29 before the Mississippi Public Service Commission to increase the Claiborne County plant’s capacity to 1,443 megawatts, which would make it the nation’s largest single reactor.
http://www.vicksburgpost.com/articles/2009/10/08/news/doc4ace0c6e5708d778634565.txt

Biloxi-Gulfport, Pascagoula and Mobile, Ala. are all attracting new companies and business investment. http://www.nola.com/business/index.ssf/2009/10/economic_outlook_for_new_orlea.html

The Link plans to unveil a master plan for the aerospace megasite Oct. 19 at 10 a.m. at East Mississippi Community College, Higgins said. There, citizens can see just what engineers, the Tennessee Valley Authority and others involved with the project have in mind.
http://www.cdispatch.com/news/article.asp?aid=3187

After more than two decades of states racing each other for one economic prize after another, the Tennessee Valley Authority launched a program in 2004 that streamlined the giant industrial site-selection process — for communities looking for new jobs and for companies looking for sites to build on. http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/2009/oct/11/mega-impact/

Mississippi Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney says he should decide soon whether State Farm can boost homeowners’ rates in three coastal counties.
http://tinyurl.com/ycweuj4

John Turner, director of economic development for Entergy Mississippi, said there’s still “hurt and pain” in the state’s economy.  He said businesses that shelved projects are showing interest and beginning to call again.
http://tinyurl.com/ylc8m7y

MDA will be hosting a renewable energy workshop this month in Vicksburg.  A webinar focusing on the energy-related stimulus opportunities available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) will be held on Tuesday, October 13, at 10 a.m.  The full Energy Awareness Calendar is on the website:
http://www.mississippi.org/index.php?id=732

The Mississippi Economic Development Council presents its MEDC Regional Chamber Workshop Series on Tuesday, November 17 in Newton.  Speakers include Shane Moody, CEO of the Destin Area Chamber, Beth Stevens, Executive Director or the Greenwood-Leflore Chamber, Chance McDavid, of the MSU MSCAT team.  Topics include membership retention, membership sales, non-dues revenue, benefits of membership, boosting your membership using social media, and the First Impressions Program.  www.medc.ms

The Mississippi District Export Council presents Export University – Export 101 – An Introduction to Exporting, Tuesday, November 10, 2009 at the Franklin Furniture Institute at MSU.
http://tinyurl.com/yjmbos7

The Mississippi Technology Alliance (MTA) will offer the Venture Coaching Academy in online and in-person classes beginning November 10, 2009.  MTA President and CEO Dr. Randy Goldsmith will lead workshops, webinars and independent study focused on preparing companies for private investment. The one-of-a-kind curriculum addresses the business development needs of high performance entrepreneurs, university-based incubator and tech park directors and experienced managers at general purpose incubators serving innovation-based companies.  Call 601-960-3610 or email sgaines@mta.ms.

MEDC Calendar:
November 17 – MEDC Regional Chamber Workshop, Newton, MS “Connecting With Your Members”- www.medc.ms
December 8 – MEDC Member-to-Member Seminar, Jackson, MS “Existing Industry & Business – A Fresh Approach” with Chandler Russ, Director, EIB Division, MDA

Carol Hardwick, Executive Director
Mississippi Economic Development Council (MEDC)
P. O. Box 3721, Jackson, MS  39207
www.medc.ms
MEDC 2010 Winter Conference . February 3-5 . Hilton . Jackson
MEDC 2010 Summer Conference . July 21-23 . Beau Rivage . Biloxi

MEDC is Mississippi’s professional association of economic development and chamber of commerce professionals. 

Economic Development News Week of October 5, 2009

October 7, 2009 Leave a comment

Mississippi Power needs permission to acquire, build and operate the plant and associated transmission and gas pipeline facilities and obtains rights-of-way in Kemper, Lauderdale, Clarke, and Jasper Counties.
http://tinyurl.com/y8z7k9y

Gov. Haley Barbour’s office has announced he’s in Malaysia today for one stop on an Asian economic development trip expected to take him to Singapore and Japan.
http://tinyurl.com/yb2oo9p

Working since June with a consortium of 41 Mississippi counties currently under-served with the technology, officials with the Noxubee Economic and Community Development Alliance have launched an initiative to provide high-speed Internet access to all residents of Noxubee County.
http://www.cdispatch.com/news/article.asp?aid=3097

City View Condominiums opened a little more than a week ago. The condos at 827 N. State St. are the latest addition to downtown’s burgeoning market of historic residential renovations. . . . “From a tax base standpoint, having a quality, renovated facility back on the tax base is better than a rundown and vacant facility,” said Benjie Barham, director of business development with Hinds County Economic Development District.
http://tinyurl.com/y8h6ehy

A proposed $2.2 billion Mississippi Power plant that would convert lignite coal into electricity has the potential to bring about 300 jobs to a county with a population around 10,000 and an unemployment rate of 10.6 percent.
http://www.clarionledger.com/article/20091001/BIZ/910010357/1005

The U.S. Small Business Administration is extending its Gulf Opportunity Pilot Loan program through Sept. 30, 2010.
http://tinyurl.com/ykq2uvz

Steel Summit Holdings Inc. celebrated today the grand opening of its new division, Vicksmetal Company, at a ribbon-cutting ceremony in Vicksburg.
http://www.mississippi.org/index.php?id=733

For Kay Olliver, manager of the Greater Belhaven Market, a farmers market is much more than just a place to buy fresh veggies.  “It provides a gathering space, a space for our neighbors to come together in a local market and bring their children and bring their dogs,” she said of the market, which is marking its eighth year in the Belhaven neighborhood of Jackson.
http://tinyurl.com/y8qwvuw

Gov. Haley Barbour said Thursday that dismal September revenues probably mean the state budget faces deeper cuts.
http://tinyurl.com/ygnhqb2

A free Tuesday [Oct. 6] online seminar will explore the possibilities and capabilities of various communication technology applications that are available for businesses to market their brands and communicate with potential customers and others.  Interested individuals should contact Debbie Miller at MSU at dmiller@cfr.msstate.edu or 662-325-6787. 

MEDC Calendar:
November 17 – MEDC Regional Chamber Workshop, Newton, MS “Connecting With Your Members”
December 8 – MEDC Member-to-Member Seminar, Jackson, MS “Existing Industry & Business – A Fresh Approach” with Chandler Russ, Director, EIB Division, MDA

Carol Hardwick, Executive Director
Mississippi Economic Development Council (MEDC)
P. O. Box 3721, Jackson, MS  39207
www.medc.ms
MEDC 2010 Winter Conference . February 3-5 . Hilton . Jackson
MEDC 2010 Summer Conference . July 21-23 . Beau Rivage . Biloxi

MEDC is Mississippi’s professional association of economic development and chamber of commerce professionals.