Gov. Bryant Speaks to Miss. Supervisors, Economy and Education Lead
By: Knox Graham
JACKSON, Miss.—Wednesday Governor Phil Bryant spoke to the Mississippi Association of Supervisors in the capital city.
“Today we wanted to talk about economic development and how education goes hand in hand with that.”
He touched on a range of topics and issues that have faced Mississippians over the last year and stressed the impact the supervisors have in the communities around the state.
“These are people that have influence back in their counties,” he said. “So as we talked about charter schools, opportunity scholarships, and merit pay for teachers we want them to go back to their counties and say we believe in what the governor is talking about because if we don’t succeed in our educational system we will never succeed in our economic development efforts.”
Governor Bryant also pointed out a few specific places that have had a good week economically speaking and helped bring around 550 new jobs to the state collectively.
“This week we’ve been to Aurora which is flight services in Columbus where they’ve added 250 jobs there.”
He also pointed to the northwest portion of the state where more jobs are coming.
“Helen of Troy in Desoto County will provide another 250 jobs and building another $1.3 million warehouse. It’s been an awful good week for us in economic development.”
The governor looked to the future and touched on the University of Mississippi Medical Center expansion in Jackson that he says will drive economic growth also.
“The medical center that just broke ground this week is expected to add around 29,000 jobs in the state over the next decade.”
Continuing to be aggressive in recruiting new businesses to the state is on the agenda again in 2013 according to the governor and adding incentives he says is important.
“We are very careful with our incentive programs but every company that comes to the state looks for the state to help incentivize,” he said. “You have to be able to go out and say we’re going to be your partner. But if you don’t incentivize businesses they’re not going to come to your state.”
He admitted that with the automobile corridor continuing to grow in the southeast it isn’t helping ease the competitive landscape in attracting companies.
“The competition is fierce in the southeast. We’re going to continue to ask the legislature to give us authority to incentivize businesses and grow jobs in Mississippi.”
The 2013 legislative session kicked off this week and economic development is just one of a number of things on the agenda, including charter schools and education which were touched on during the luncheon briefly Wednesday.