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Ridgeland's Terracon is country's largest geotechnical engineering firm

In 2009 Ridgeland-based Aquaterra Engineering, derived from Ware Lind Engineers, the first geotechnical engineering firm in Mississippi, had offices in five Southeastern states. The company decided to grow even larger by merging with Terracon Consultants Inc., a firm that is now the largest geotechnical engineering firm in the country with more than 3,000 employees and more than 130 offices in ...

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Cuts have taken a toll on employment centers

By now most everyone is familiar with the term “sequestration,” and some people are feeling its effects. In Mississippi sequestration has led to the closing of 12 WIN Job Centers and three becoming part-time centers. However, 43 WIN Job Centers remain open full time. The job centers are staffed and operated by the Mississippi Department of Employment Security. As background, ...

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State board ensures college programs are meeting workforce needs

Seven years ago the State Workforce Investment Board was established with a mission to help ensure a viable, well-trained workforce for Mississippi. The board is made up of a diverse group representing the various private sectors and public entities, especially public education, and works in conjunction with the Mississippi Department of Employment Security. Jay Moon, president/CEO of the Mississippi Manufacturers ...

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Olive Branch couple turns an ear toward hearing aid venture

After Joe Pickler was downsized from his job as a software salesman, he wasn’t ready to head into retirement. Instead, he and his wife, Gayle, a medical space planner, decided to start their own business. “No one wanted to hire a 64-year-old salesman,” Pickler said. “We are knowledgeable and talented. So we decided we would just open our own business. ...

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Colleges prep for interior design job surge

It’s all about space planning at the state’s interior design schools where students learn ways to make interior spaces more livable and workable. There are four-year accredited programs such as Mississippi College, Mississippi State University and the University of Southern Mississippi where students earn bachelor degrees in interior design. There are also university parallel programs at Northeast Community College and ...

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SBA promise loan increase for country's veterans

The U.S. Small Business Administration’s top lenders have signed on with the SBA’s Veteran Pledge Initiative to pump up their loans to veterans by 5 percent a year for the next five years. The SBA has enlisted its top 20 national lenders and about 100 regional and community lenders to help veteran-owned small businesses. SBA officials estimate that the initiative ...

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Restaurants beating back the recession

The Mississippi restaurant industry has climbed back from the hit it took during the recent recession to show $3.2 billion in sales in the most recent fiscal year, up six percent from the previous year. Employment was up by 2.9 percent to a total of 80,835. “The rest of the story is that 80,835 figure puts us only back to ...

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Golden Nugget stakes its claim on the Coast

Late on the afternoon before the Golden Nugget’s big debut in Biloxi, general manager Jim Hoskins sounded calm and cool. “We have a great team,” Hoskins said by way of explaining his no-sweat attitude before the official unveiling of the new brand. The next day, on June 21, the ribbon was ceremoniously cut on the first phase of a transformation ...

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Convention centers across state throw open doors

The economy is shaky and casino business – a major player in tourism – is down. So, how are meetings and conventions – another important part of tourism – faring? Three of Mississippi’s most popular places for meetings and conventions – the Gulf Coast, Jackson and Natchez – say business is good. “Our convention and meeting business in Natchez has ...

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Inspectors help keep eateries safe

Next time you enjoy a meal in a restaurant, don’t just compliment the chef. You might also want to thank the county Health Department inspector who pokes around in the kitchen to make sure diners stay safe from nasty food borne illness. John Luke, director of food protection with the state Department of Health, estimates there are about 90 employees ...

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