Posts Tagged ‘Columbus-Lowndes Development Link’

Mississippi Economic Development News – Week of April 11, 2011

Mississippi Economic Development News – Week of April 11, 2011

Nearly 1,000 people — including the current governor and a pair of former governors — turned out March 24 at the Marriott in Jackson to celebrate a 75-year-old success story — the Mississippi Development Authority.

Study finds state’s doctors generate $5B for economy.–5B-for-economy?instance=secondary_stories_left_column

New law boosts state’s film-making incentives

Toyota statement regarding status of North American production.  Contrary to recent headlines, nothing has changed … regarding our North American operations.

Toyota Motor Manufacturing Mississippi, Inc. March 31 letter to MEDC regarding status of TMMMS.

Warren County Port Commission Economic Development Foundation is an Expansion Solutions Magazine 2010 Top Five Awards of Excellence winner in the Logistics industry category.

Columbus-Lowndes Development LINK is an Expansion Solutions Magazine 2010 Top Five Awards of Excellence winner in the Defense industry category.

Roy Anderson Corp. acquired by California firm.

The Trent Lott National Center for Excellence in Economic Development and Entrepreneurship presents “Impact Southern Miss: Turning Knowledge into Innovation with Advance Materials” on April 14.

Sponsorships now being taken for the 2011 MEDC Summer Conference “FULL SPEED AHEAD.”  The sponsor form is now online.  Event sponsorships can be listed in the advance brochure if signed up by April 15!

MEDC Calendar:
July 13 – 15 – MEDC Summer Conference “FULL SPEED AHEAD,” Biloxi

The Economic Development News is a weekly service provided to members of the Mississippi Economic Development Council (MEDC), Mississippi’s state association of economic development and chamber of commerce professionals –

Carol Hardwick, CAE, Executive Director
Mississippi Economic Development Council (MEDC)
P. O. Box 3721, Jackson, MS  39207 . 601.352.1909 . fax: 601.352.2061


Mississippi Economic Development News Week of November 1, 2010

November 22, 2010 Leave a comment

Mississippi Economic Development News – Week of November 1, 2010

Tuesday, November 2 is election day.  Elections being held include U. S. House of Representatives in all four Mississippi congressional districts and nonpartisan elections for the Mississippi Supreme Court, Mississippi Appeals Court, Chancery Court and Circuit Court judges.  See the Secretary of State’s statewide sample official election ballot at

Hol-Mac Corporation Announces Expansion of Bay Springs, Miss., Operations; Project to Create 35 New Jobs.

The Link will be featured in Forbes magazine’s January issue in an article highlighting the economic development entity’s three female vice presidents. “They called looking for women in business in Mississippi. They discovered we had two female VPs initially,” said Brenda Lathan, vice president of economic development for the Link. “When they called me I said ‘No, we’ve got three.’ That prompted them to want to do an article based on us.”

Facilities for Wilh. Schulz GMBH, a German-based pipe manufacturer, and Twin Creeks Technologies, a Silicon Valley-based maker of solar panels, are under construction and on schedule in Tunica and Senatobia, respectively.

Jay C. Moon, president and CEO of Mississippi Manufacturers Assn., elected International Economic Development Council (IEDC) vice chair.

“More than 11 hundred acres known as the Pilkington Property along Hickory Grove Road and Highway 82 in eastern Oktibbeha County could become the next big industrial site in the Golden Triangle,” said Jon Maynard, CEO Greater Starkville Development Partnership.,6,44&

Major MSU Project. . . . they expect to create 150 to 160 jobs once the first phase is completed. The project’s overall construction should create 1,000 jobs.

The city of Cleveland will receive $1.1 million for construction of a boulevard and trail to venues at Delta State University in Cleveland.  U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., says the funding is part of $3.3 million from the Federal Highway Administration for four projects in Mississippi.

A Jackson economic development consulting agency has been hired by the city of Meridian to revitalize the downtown area.

A Toyota supplier in north Mississippi is taking applications for about 300 jobs at its Baldwyn facility.

The Mississippi Development Authority will lead a delegation of business leaders on a trade mission to Costa Rica and Panama from March 20-26.

Governor Haley Barbour recently announced the creation of a panel that will report on the impact of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and aid in the development of a long-term vision to enhance the Gulf of Mexico for the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

Bids on the second phase of Gautier’s $5.7 million streetscape project may be solicited this week, according to planning and economic development director Samantha Abell.

The 2010 Governor’s Workforce Development Conference will be held in Tunica November 14 – 17.  Special guests include Governor Haley Barbour, U.S. Assistant Secretary of Labor Jane Oates, and U.S. Department of Labor Regional Administrator Helen Parker, in addition to expert plenary and breakout workshop leaders.

The Mississippi Technology Alliance presents a free webinar: Workforce Resources: Tips to Attract, Motivate & Train, on November 2, 2010; 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. (CST)

MEDC Scholarship Period Open October 1 – November 15, 2010 to MEDC members for professional development courses offered in 2011.  The Scholarship Committee has just learned that USM will be hosting the National Development Council Economic Development Courses and have added those to the list of approved courses.

Mark your calendars now for the MEDC Member-to-Member Seminar on Tuesday, December 14 to hear about “Coopertition: The New Strategy for Economic Development” from Gray Swoope, Executive Director of the Mississippi Development Council and Neal Wade, Senior VP of Economic Development at the St. Joe Company in Florida.

The Economic Development News is a weekly service provided to members of the Mississippi Economic Development Council (MEDC), Mississippi’s state association of economic development and chamber of commerce professionals –

MEDC calendar:
Member-to-Member Seminar . December 14 . Jackson
2011 MEDC Winter Conference . February 2 – 4 . Jackson
2011 MEDC Summer Conference . July 13 – 15 . Biloxi

Carol Hardwick, CAE, Executive Director
Mississippi Economic Development Council (MEDC)
P. O. Box 3721, Jackson, MS  39207

Economic Development News Week of November 23, 2009

December 14, 2009 Leave a comment

The company will produce the composite components at its composite manufacturing center of excellence in Iuka, Mississippi. At peak production, ATK could produce up to 25 miles of A350 XWB composite components per month.

Five businesses held grand openings here (in Petal) Friday. Deborah Reynolds, president of the Petal Area Chamber of Commerce, said the solid financial news comes in part due to small businesses.  “These openings are a tremendous impact,” she said. “Our small business community is what keeps us going, and the work they’re doing is why we see the same steady sales tax figures.”

Stark Aerospace held the grand opening celebration of its new facility in Columbus yesterday. Stark Aerospace is a subsidiary of IAI North America, the U.S. subsidiary of Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd. (IAI).

Pepsi bottlers, elected officials and economic development leaders yesterday celebrated the opening of a state-of-the-art Pepsi South bottling facility here that will produce 350,000 cases of Pepsi and Dr Pepper products per week.  The 236,000 square foot plant is located in the Forrest County Industrial Park, and is the only soft drink production facility in the area.

Advance Mississippi has released its latest issue brief, which provides an in-depth look at nuclear energy.

 The head of the Central Mississippi Planning and Development District is confident U.S. 80 – one of Jackson’s most troubled commercial areas – can be saved.  “This is a gigantic sector plan to try to take a part of the city of Jackson that is depressed and bring it back,” said Clarke Holmes, CEO of the development district. “This is city planning 101.”

Brookhaven — Lincoln County business leaders are accelerating plans to develop a 400-acre business park acquired last year solely with local funds.

Tim Mood, vice president of economic development for the Electric Power Associations of Mississippi, said Brookhaven and Lincoln County have always managed to have strong local leadership, period. “Look at some of the individuals in the past that have contributed to the local economic development process: Charleigh Ford, Doug Sullivan, Tillmon Bishop, Bill Sones, Chandler Russ and many others,” he said. “That excellence continues today with Mayor Massengill and Cliff Brumfield, a pro-business board of supervisors and IDF board carrying the torch.”

In a time when some major automakers are transitioning, business as usual is more than welcome at the Nissan manufacturing plant.

“I have a positive feeling about the outlook for our economy,” said Barron, who was in Jackson recently to speak at a forum sponsored by the Mississippi Council on Economic Education. “We’re seeing economic growth and spending but consumers will still be challenged because of unemployment rates. 

Facing growing budget constraints, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour wants to save money by cutting the state’s public universities from eight to five.

Federal regulators Thursday authorized Entergy Corp.’s utilities in Mississippi and Arkansas to leave a multistate agreement, a move expected to eventually save money for electric customers in Arkansas.

The Jones County Economic Development Authority Board of Director’s unanimously voted to provide a letter of support for Mississippi Power Company’s Kemper County Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle Project and passed a resolution of support for the State Port in Gulfport

Join the MEDC group on LinkedIn – (members only)

MEDC Scholarship Application Period Open through Nov. 30
MEDC is now taking applications for scholarships for 2010 courses – Attend national professional development courses (EDI, CDI, IOM and New South) in 2010 and let MEDC pay your tuition.  Apply now for your scholarship – go to and click on Professional Development for an application – funded by MEDC, MDA, Mississippi Power Company and Tennessee Valley Authority. Application deadline is November 30.

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. 

Economic Development News Week of October 26, 2009

November 2, 2009 Leave a comment

Governors from two states will make a major aerospace announcement Monday that will impact the Gulf Coast Corridor — an area from the Mississippi Gulf Coast, through Alabama and into Northwest Florida along I-10.  Barbour will appear via satellite.

The governors of Alabama and Mississippi plan to try to rally support for a plan to turn a four-state region along the Gulf of Mexico into an Aerospace Alliance.

The Mississippi Delta soon could be home to a “very sophisticated, advanced manufacturing” operation that would create 500 jobs in five years, Gov. Haley Barbour said Wednesday.–300M-manufacturing-plant-for-Delta?source=nletter-news

NASA’s John C. Stennis Space Center has become the first site to earn project ready certification in an industrial site program formalized by Mississippi Power Co.’s economic development department.

State lawmakers may be gearing up in the coming days for another special session – this one dealing with an economic development project in north Mississippi.

Reed’s Metals Inc., a growing metal manufacturing plant on U.S. 84, is undergoing its third expansion project in as many years and will soon pull in more workers, produce more metal and pour more income into Lincoln County.

Northrop Grumman plans to begin conducting test flights of its small, unmanned Navy helicopter Fire Scout in the skies over Jackson County within the first few months of next year.  Along with flight testing comes maintenance. The company plans to add 10 new jobs for flight testing and eight to 10 through the maintenance support contract, company officials said Friday. Three have already been filled.

Mississippi had the eighth lowest rate of job losses in the construction industry, an analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America 

Mississippi saw the number of people working climb in September as the state's unemployment rate slipped in every county.  The state's unemployment rate fell to 8.8 percent in September down from 9.7 percent in August, according to the Mississippi Department of Employment Security. 

At the Biomass Summit this week in Washington, people were talking about Mississippi, said Sumesh Arora, director of Strategic Biomass Solutions (SBS) for the Mississippi Technology Alliance. 

Economic developers across Mississippi are using a new method to poll businesses and industries to find out their needs and develop better policies to assist their growth.  The 27-question survey was developed by MDA with feedback from economic developers statewide in an effort to expand the reach of the organization's Business Retention and Expansion Program. 

The U.S. Department of Labor has unveiled $447 million in funding allocations for Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) for states to assist workers who lose their jobs due to outsourcing and foreign trade.  

The land is available. The first tenants are established. Political support is present at the local and state levels. Bring on the jobs. The Columbus-Lowndes Development Link revealed its master plan today for the GTR Global Industrial Aerospace Park . . . - Presentation

Vitech Systems Group, Inc., a leading provider of enterprise software to group benefit and public pension funds, announced today the opening of a new regional office in Ridgeland, Mississippi.

Even with an economic revival, many U.S. jobs lost during the recession may be gone forever and a weak employment market could linger for years.–higher-jobless-rates-may-be-new-norm?source=nletter-news

Five Mississippi ports on the Tennessee Tombigbee Waterway feel their assets are being underutilized, and they have formed GROWPORTS in an effort to change that.

The Mississippi World Trade Center 2009 Annual Meeting and Awards Luncheon will be held 11:30 to 1:00 on Thursday, November 12.  Contact 601-353-0909 or

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  
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. 

Mississippi Economic Development News – June 22, 2009

June 24, 2009 Leave a comment

U.S. personal income continued to decline in the first quarter of 2009, falling 0.5 percent and encompassing 37 states, according to estimates released by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. However, Mississippi and most of the Southeast saw a rise. 

Alabama has joined forces with Mississippi and Florida in Paris to promote the growing aerospace cluster in the South, one that threatens to grab new business such as the U.S. Air Force tanker contract, and is not above trying to tempt away aviation business already in Washington. 

A Starkville-based technology firm developing “next-generation” electronic systems celebrated a grand opening of its headquarters Friday with an eye on the future.

Progress is the name of the game this summer for the metalworking programs at Jones County Junior College. The college now houses one of only three Advanced Manufacturing Centers for Excellence in the state. New equipment has been delivered to the college, and nationally certified instructors at JCJC will use it to deliver advanced skills training in metalworking.

 SUNDAY MORNING WITH — Jon Mabry, COO, Miss. Development Authority’s Disaster Recovery Division

Officials anticipate the start of work on a new building next month in the Thad Cochran Research, Technology and Economic Development Park as plans to expand the park take shape.

Singing River Electric announced the approval of a $1.1 million zero-interest loan by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Business Service and Singing River Electric to fund an economic development project in Greene County, says Singing River Electric assistant manager Mike Smith.

The last decade of the 1990s was a good one for Mississippi employment with total non-farm employment in the state growing by 14.3 percent over that period.  Different sectors drive in 2000s.

Turning right onto Charleigh Ford Drive, the motorist passes by more rows of trimmed trees planted in freshly cut grass surrounding a large, oval-shaped sign welcoming him to the Golden Triangle Global Aerospace Park.  While only a plan now, this scene soon may be a reality in the area surrounding the GTRA, Columbus-Lowndes Development Link Chief Executive Officer Joe Higgins explained Wednesday during the Link’s quarterly luncheon at the Columbus Country Club.

The Mississippi Home Corporation (MHC) will hold a free Homebuyer Fair on June 30th, 2009 … in Marks, MS. The fair will be hosted by MHC, Quitman County Community Development Organization, and USDA/Rural Development.  Representatives of the host organizations will answer questions and provide valuable information about affordable homebuying programs, credit scores, and the homebuying process in general.

Horn Lake is seeking a community development block grant to build a railroad spur line to service a “significant expansion” of a local plant.

“We look at this as an economic development project, not just a nursing school project,” (Joe Max) Higgins said. “They have a targeted (construction) starting date of next spring. The building will probably be complete within about a year of that date.”

U.S. Representative Gregg Harper (R-Miss.) joined the Mississippi Poultry Association to announce that Mississippi’s Third Congressional District leads the nation in poultry production, according to recently released data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s 2007 Census of Agriculture.

Last call – To reserve your room at the Beau Rivage for the MEDC 2009 Summer Conference July 22-24.  The block of rooms has been extended through this week, however, there are ony a few left at the reduced rate!  FYI- The Beau has a 72-hour cancellation policy.

Are you registered for the MEDC Summer Conference?  Please confirm at’09RegistrationsReceived.html. Check to be sure the Thursday afternoon networking activity you chose is noted in the far right column.

Carol Hardwick, Executive Director
Mississippi Economic Development Council, Inc. (MEDC)
P. O. Box 3721, Jackson, MS  39207
601-352-1909 . .
2009 Summer Conference . July 22-24 . Beau Rivage . Biloxi

Mississippi Economic Development News – April 20, 2009

April 20, 2009 Leave a comment

Two industries that could help spur growth in Mississippi are defense and aerospace.  In Lowndes County, three such companies will expand in the coming years and will add about 1,000 jobs to that area, says Joe Max Higgins, president and CEO of the Columbus-Lowndes Development Link. Growth has been aided by the regional airport and Columbus Air Force Base, he said.

Barbara Dorr, executive director of Keep Mississippi Beautiful said there is a direct negative correlation between litter and a lack of economic development in cities as well as statewide.

THE NORTHSIDE Sun is seeking more information on a project that some say could ultimately kill an ambitious flood control and economic development plan for the capital city.

East Mississippi Community College representatives were joined by politicians, educators and community leaders at the college’s Golden Triangle campus Wednesday afternoon to send out thanks to local industry… Mississippi Development Authority Executive Director Gray Swoope, keynote speaker for the event, encouraged Mississippians to start thinking outside the box, in terms of economic expansion.

The magic words to get a bill passed in the Legislature are “economic development” or “tax reform.” They worked very well in the Senate on Feb. 23…

Noxubee County this week received an “economic boost” from the opening of a large wood products company, according to Brian Wilson, executive director of the Noxubee Economic and Community Development Alliance.

The two businesses are the Viking Range Company, a high-end kitchen equipment manufacturer, and Staplcotn, the world’s largest and oldest cotton cooperative.  These two firms are the new and old South cheek by jowl — a stark contrast between entrepreneurship and an agricultural subsidy system that underwrites white privilege in a region that is predominantly poor and black.

The first Airline Summit was held soon after Hurricane Katrina and the fourth summit this year will give airline executives a look at the progress on the Coast and plans for more development.

The Mississippi Development Authority (MDA) Division of Tourism today announces that 10 courses in the state have been voted to Golf Digest magazine’s biennial ranking of “America’s Greatest Courses State by State 2009-10.”

“Once they tried to charge me as much as $1300 for a ticket to Atlanta,” said Leland Speed, former director of the Mississippi Development Authority.

Lockheed Martin is in the preliminary phase of researching available airport locations that have hanger accommodations adequate for a C-5 aircraft. 

Deadline for MEDC Community Economic Development Awards nominations – 5:00 PM, Friday, April 24. Have your 2008 economic development project recognized and be eligible to receive a $5,000 marketing match grant.

Carol Hardwick, Executive Director
Mississippi Economic Development Council, Inc. (MEDC)
601-352-1909 . . 
MEDC Summer Conference . July 22-24 . Beau Rivage . Biloxi
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