The Mississippi Economic Council will hold their annual MEC Capital Day on Thursday to help kick-off the 2018 legislative session.
The event will bring business owners, community leaders, and legislators together from across the state to discuss the ideas and issues that will help propel Mississippi forward as lawmakers meet in Jackson. Scott Waller, Interim President & CEO of the Mississippi Economic Council, says that this is a chance to hear a new perspective on the issues facing the state.
“It’s a great way to kick off the legislative session,” Waller said. “It gives us an opportunity for our members to come in from all across the state to be a part of the day and learn what’s happening at the Capitol and what some of the key issues are both from MEC’s and the legislator’s perspectives.”
Waller named workforce development as one of the main talking points of the event. This comes shortly after the Secretary of State’s office completed a survey of nearly 2,000 businesses that stated that an educated workforce is one of Mississippi’s most significant needs. Other areas of discussion may touch on transportation and infrastructure, as the MEC “has been long involved” with attempting to seek funds for MDOT.
“We’re going to be talking about their efforts to not only build their areas from a regional standpoint but how workforce and its development play into that process. We’re also going to talk about how we can continue to focus on what the jobs are and the job skills that are needed for today,” Waller said. “There’s been a lot written and said about the need for additional dollars for transportation. We believe that for us to be successful from an economic standpoint, we have to continue to have a strong transportation infrastructure.”
Waller says that the event is beneficial to both sides and that it allows for a dialogue between them.
“From a legislature’s standpoint; their constituents are their top priority, and from a constituent’s standpoint, they want to know that they have an open line of communication to their representatives, and this is an example of a way to do that. Participating in this event allows you to have that open line of communication,” Waller says.
Speakers at the event include Governor Phil Bryant, MEC Chair William Yates III, Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann, and several more throughout the day.