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MDA setting up separate efforts on business retention, global recruiting

The Mississippi Development Authority is searching for an international business recruiter to head up its global business development.

The MDA is creating the position as part of reorganization that severs business retention from international business development, Brent Christensen, MDA executive director, said at a press briefing Monday.

“We have to find a way to build start-up capacity,” said Christensen, who took over as MDA chief in June. “At MDA we have had one department in charge of recruiting and serving existing businesses. What we are going to do is split those”

Skip Skaggs, current director of the Global Investment and Retention Division, will head the retention effort.

“We will be looking for someone to run our global business development,” Christensen said.

The important role each plays merits “an individual in charge of each,” he added, and noted he hopes to fill the post “as soon as possible.”

Another initiative to be presented in December entails working with the state’s regional development offices to increase the number of shovel-ready sites that can be offered potential business or industrial users. “We have heard constantly ‘we need more sites,’” Christensen said. Just as supermarket shoppers want to have choices, site selectors want to look at a variety of sites to gauge which bests suit their needs, he noted.

“We’ll also be looking at how we can work more closely with our state universities,” he added. “We’ll be playing a more proactive role at MDA helping them get engaged.”


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