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Economic Development

ADP’s Williamson a key innovative cog in Hattiesburg area development programs

By BECKY GILLETTE Valencia Williamson has overseen the creation of innovative new programs including those designed to improve the work-force preparedness of high school graduates since she was hired six years ago to head the Area Development Partnership Chamber of Commerce Division as executive vice president. “Valencia is a leading minority executive in Greater Hattiesburg and serves as a shining ...

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GLENN McCULLOUGH: Automotive industry is driving job creation in Mississippi

A little more than a decade ago, Mississippi had never produced a commercial vehicle. Today, about 4 million vehicles assembled in the state are on the road around the world, and production is showing no signs of slowing down. For Mississippians, more significant than production milestones are the contributions Toyota and Nissan have made to the state and local economy. ...

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McCormick & Company locating in Marshall County, creating 48 jobs

McCormick & Company is locating warehousing and distribution operations in Marshall Co., Miss., investing $6 million and creating 48 jobs. “I am pleased to welcome McCormick as the newest member of the state’s thriving warehousing and distribution industry. The 48 jobs being created by the company will positively benefit the local community and economy for years to come,” Gov. Phil ...

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DENNIS SEID: Economic development would suffer from cuts

President Donald Trump’s proposed budget includes the elimination of key economic development agencies, including the Appalachian Regional Commission, which has played a vital part in many projects in Mississippi. While there is no doubt that government can be leaner and more efficient, the work of the ARC cannot be overlooked. The ARC was created in 1965 as a federal agency ...

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BILL CRAWFORD: Stores closed by online competition impact community finances

J.C. Penney announced it will close five stores in Mississippi communities – Columbus, Corinth, Greenville, Meridian, and Oxford. Earlier Sears announced three closures in Columbus, Jackson, and McComb, with more to come. Even Wal-Mart has closed stores, in Belmont, Mantachie, Sardis, Walnut, Derma and Nettleton.    Two years ago Radio Shack closed 20 stores in Mississippi, in Jackson, Hattiesburg, Meridian, ...

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Hodge joins Visitors Bureau

Forrest Hodge has been hired as the Sales and Marketing Coordinator at the Greenwood Convention & Visitors Bureau. Hodge is a native of Greenwood and a graduate of Delta State University, where he received a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Marketing. His experience ranges from the hotel industry to coordinating programming for the Greenwood-Leflore Public Library. Hodge is on ...

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Waller ready to take reins of MEC

By JACK WEATHERLY There have been only three directors of the Mississippi Economic Council in its 68 years. Soon there will be a fourth. Nothing is official, but Scott Waller, an 11-year veteran of the MEC, the state chamber of commerce, in February was named interim president and chief executive effective May 1. The same day, the MEC announced that ...

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Wilson leaving MEC for next director to build on foundation

By JACK WEATHERLY Blake Wilson has continued to make the Mississippi Economic Council a statewide organization. As the third chief executive of the MEC, he said he has built on the foundation established by M.B. Swayze, who led the organization after it was established in 1949. “He went around the state. He had an old Valiant. Everybody told me about ...

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Hearing held on appeal of Costco zoning

By JACK WEATHERLY Madison County Circuit Court Judge John Emfinger held a hearing Monday of an appeal by homeowners in a protracted battle over the proposed building of a Costco Wholesale store in Ridgeland. The nine plaintiffs contend that an amendment by the city to a commercial zoning ordinance amounted to “spot zoning” designed to accommodate Costco, and opening the ...

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