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Move Forward Mississippi: Promoting Mississippi as a Place for Economic Development

JACKSON, Miss.–It’s Nissan’s tenth anniversary and a newly formed alliance is using the company’s success in the Magnolia State to promote the development of other auto-related and non-auto-related businesses in the state. The group is called Mover Forward Mississippi.

The group’s co-chairs held a press conference at the state capitol Thursday.

“Nissan and these other companies have provided an economic stimulus to our state, and at the same time improved the quality of life for thousands of Mississippians and their families,” said James Hull, executive director.

A study by Mississippi State says Nissan has created 16,000 jobs and has an annual economic impact of $2.5 billion.

The group wants to promote more than the economy, though. The philosophy is that if Mississippi’s image is good, than companies will want to locate here.

“We have great human capital in this state,” said Dolphus Weary, co-chair and long-time advocate for racial reconciliation. “The bottom line is ‘Are the workers at Nissan and its suppliers and the community as a whole better off than we were 10 years ago?’, and that answer is a resounding yes.”

The formation of the group comes at a time when there is a growing movement that wants a union at Nissan. A group of Nissan workers have been joined by the NAACP and notables like actor Danny Glover, saying there are human rights violations at the Canton plant and calling for collective bargaining rights.

There have also been claims of intimidation, which Nissan denies.

There was no overt anti-union speech in the literature distributed at the press conference.

Canton Municipal Utilities Director John Wallace also serves as co-chair.

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