Home > Chambers of Commerce, Economic Development News > Economic Development News Week of October 19, 2009

Economic Development News Week of October 19, 2009

“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.

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

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.

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.

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.”

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.

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.

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.

Funding provided through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) has paved the way for numerous overlay projects in Northeast Mississippi.

They are among 11 residential developments statewide that are splitting $4.3 million in credits awarded by the Mississippi Home Corp.

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.

Brian Wilson, chief economic development officer for Noxubee County, announces his departure from the Noxubee Alliance effective January 1, 2010.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Mississippians have suddenly found themselves in the midst of emerging new technologies and energy options.

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.

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
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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