The City of Vicksburg is known throughout the world for its hospitality, National Military Park, antebellum homes and views of the Mississippi River from its high bluffs attracting over one million visitors per year.
Most cities would be satisfied and rest on their tourism laurels, but Vicksburg has much more to offer through its diversified economy.
Vicksburg-Warren County is home to the Lower Mississippi River Commission, U. S. Army Corps of Engineers and U. S. Waterways Experiment Station that houses the fourth largest super computer in the world. The three installations employ over 2,000 scientists, Ph.D.’s and engineers.
The retail shopping areas of specialty shops in the downtown, Vicksburg Factory Outlet Mall and Regional Shopping Center attract shoppers from around the world and rank our area 9th in the state in sales tax revenues.
Our area is blessed with a strong diversified industrial base in metal fabrication, chemicals, rubber, plastics, wood and wood products, food processors, petroleum products and transportation, fertilizers, ship and oil rig building and repair, lighting, warehouse and distribution and automobile component parts.
These companies employ more than 7,200 skilled personnel that live and invest in Vicksburg and Warren County.
The two hospital facilities have merged to become the River Region Health System that employs 1,600 medical personnel with a payroll of $70 million per year. Presently, they are constructing a new medical facility that will be the seventh largest hospital in the state. They have plans to utilize the existing facilities for expanding other medical needs.
The gaming industry employs over 3,000 people and attracts additional visitors to our community. The industry provides tax revenues to the city in the amount of $5.9 million and $2 million to the County per year. The city and county are using these funds to build new schools, roads, and many more infrastructure improvements.
Most communities wish for easy access to all the modes of transportation. Vicksburg is blessed with Interstate 20 that extends from the east to west coast and Interstate 55 is less than thirty minutes away extending from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico.
The Kansas City Railroad that connects with Canadian National Railroad provides the only crossing of the Mississippi River between Memphis, Tennessee and Baton Rouge, Louisiana connecting Canada and the northeast to Mexico and other locations in the western United States.The Mississippi River affords water transportation directly to thirty-two states in the United States and the export of goods and products all over the world. The Port Of Vicksburg handles cargo through a port of entry and Foreign Trade Zone that ships more cargo than any other port on the Mississippi in Mississippi.
The community has two general aviation airports with 5,000 feet of runway and is forty minutes away from the Jackson International Airport.
In 1997, our community became a Mississippi Certified Retirement Community and begun to recruit retirees from all over the world. The program continues to grow with 124 families relocating and over 9,000 families registered to explore the great opportunities available.
Our school system continues to expand by constructing new facilities, upgrading their education programs, such as career opportunities and development. Hinds Community College has a campus located in our community that provides college classes, as well as, workforce training programs to assist industry. The United States Waterways Experiment Station provides advanced degree classes through Texas A&M, Mississippi State University, Louisiana State University and others for anyone in the community.
If you analyze the assets of the Vicksburg-Warren County area, you will find a diversified economy, dedicated elected officials and community volunteers that work together to improve the quality of life for all the people in the region.
Jimmy Heidel is executive director of the Vicksburg-Warren County Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Foundation. Members of the Mississippi Economic Development Council provide a weekly column to the Mississippi Business Journal. MEDC, which was established in 1963, is comprised of nearly 600 economic development professionals and business leaders who are interested in making their Mississippi communities better places in which to live and work.