SuperTalk Mississippi

MDA Executive Director: Manufacturing booming in MS

Photo courtesy of the Mississippi development Authority

Glenn McCullough, Executive Director of the Mississippi Development Authority recently sat down with News Mississippi to talk about the Mississippi economy.

“Mississippi’s economy is growing and it’s growing for one simple reason, because in Mississippi we win with people,” said Glenn McCullough.

McCullough added that the legislature, Governor, and Lt. Governor appropriated $50 million dollars for the workforce training program in Mississippi.

He added that many people are surprised to find out that the state had the first planned community college system in the United States and that this has led to many companies coming in to invest their capital into the magnolia state.

“Mississippi as a state implemented the first plan for community colleges to be strategically located within a 30 minute drive of every Mississippian, there is one of 15 community colleges,” said McCullough. “Under the leadership of Dr. Andrea Mayfield, and of course each community college has their own president, workforce training has become a priority.”

He said that Ingalls Shipbuilding has an apprenticeship program with Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College where students can get hands on experience building ships.

“There are many other examples,” said McCullough. “Real pure bottling just announced that in McGee, they are going to work with Co-Lin community college on workforce training. All across the state we are seeing this become a center of excellence.”

McCullough said that there is a historic low unemployment rate in the state currently and that people are finding their careers in Mississippi.

However, the action isn’t just happening with companies in the U.S.

“Japan is Mississippi’s largest foreign direct investor nation,” said McCullough. “We see additional opportunities to build on those relationships which will result in more careers for Mississippians.”

29,000 new career opportunities have been created by private companies that are investing and expanding in Mississippi.

McCullough added that tourism is important for the state’s economic growth as well. and that just this past year, 23 million visitors came to Mississippi.

“Tourism is about a $6.3 billion part of our economy and 86,000 Mississippians have good paying jobs in tourism,” said McCullough. “When people come to Mississippi, they generally say three things. ‘wow, I can’t believe how friendly Mississippians are.’ We in Mississippi look you in the eye, and say ‘hey how are you doing,’ introduce ourselves, ‘where are you from, what brings you to Mississippi?’ We are a very friendly people. We are a hospitable people. Two, they say ‘this is a beautiful state.’ The natural beauty of the delta is like no other, the rolling hills, the prairie, the pine belt, the gulf coast, and the beauty of the sate is awe inspiring, we have navigable waterways on three borders. The third thing that they say is ‘wow, i’m coming back and i’m going to tell my family and friends that I had a good experience.’


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