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Archive for July, 2013

Grant to fund financial literacy program at MSU

July 10th, 2013 No comments

A $40,000 grant from the Council of Graduate Schools will help Mississippi State University develop a financial education program for undergraduate and graduate students.

The grant is part of CGS’ Enhancing Financial Education Project, and is co-sponsored by financial services provider TIAA-CREF. The program will be designed to educate students about how to manage their personal financing and make good decisions related to saving, spending and borrowing money.

It will include face-to-face workshops, online training, traditional courses, career counseling, communication networks and social media.

Karen Coats, MSU associate dean of the Graduate School and co-principal investigator for the project, said student loan debt exceeded $1 trillion nationwide last year.

“As students amass debt at the undergraduate level, many of our best and brightest are unable to continue their education in graduate or professional school, preventing them from achieving mastery of their discipline and limiting their ability to reach their full potential,” Coats said in a school press release. “Mississippi State is committed to the well-being of our students and recognizes the need to help students make sound and informed financial decisions.”

Mississippi State’s Office of the Graduate School, in partnership with faculty and staff experts in financial literacy, student financial aid, information systems and technology, career counseling, and other student services, will use the funding to establish a comprehensive financial literacy program for MSU students.

“It is our hope that this program will promote financially informed students who will leave our institution with a brighter future,” Coats said.

CGS President Debra W. Stewart said that the project addresses an area of leading concern for graduate deans, according to an annual survey of CGS members.

“In collaboration with 14 other awardees and 19 affiliate partners, Mississippi State University is stepping up to help students prepare for the financial challenges of college life and beyond,” Stewart said.

At the Capitol, state Treasurer Lynn Fitch supported legislation this last session that would have mandated financial literacy courses for Mississippi high school students. The legislation failed, but Fitch has said she will push it again in 2014.

Parkway closing its Jackson office by year’s end

July 2nd, 2013 No comments

Parkway Properties will close its Jackson office by the end of the year.

Parkway notified the office’s approximately 40 employees yesterday, a company spokesperson said.

The real estate investment trust has its Mississippi offices in downtown Jackson’s One Jackson Place. It sold most of its Mississippi portfolio within the past couple years. The only property it still owns in Mississippi is the City Centre in downtown Jackson. Parkway has maintained a presence in Jackson since the mid-1980s. The company moved its corporate headquarters from Jackson to Orlando early last year.

A Parkway spokesperson said the decision was made recently, and is meant to consolidate IT, HR, accounting and similar services into the company’s Orlando office. Jackson employees will be offered a severance package, and will be given the chance to apply for jobs in the Orlando office.

Parkway owns or has an interest in 45 office properties in eight states, most of those in the Sunbelt region.  As of April 1, Parkway had approximately 13 million square feet of leasable space, and managed or leased just under 12 million square feet of space for third-party owners.

The company has offices in Atlanta, Charlotte, Phoenix, Jacksonville, Tampa and Houston.

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Nissan sets June sales record

July 2nd, 2013 No comments

Toyota and Nissan each reported Tuesday morning that June sales were up over last year.

Toyota sales were up 14 percent; Nissan’s rose 12.9 percent.

Last month had one more selling day than June 2012.

Nissan’s U.S. sales set a June record, with 104,124 units. Nissan Division sales also set a June record, with 95,010 units sold. That represents a 16.1 percent increase over last June.

Sales of the Altima, which is made in Canton, were up 23 percent to 26,902 units, also a June record.

For the first half of 2013, Toyota sold 1,108,791 units on one less selling day than the first half of 2012. That represents a 6.7 percent increase on a daily selling rate basis. Unadjusted, sales were up 6 percent year over year.

“The auto industry led the economic recovery through the first half of 2013, kicking off a strong summer selling season, which we expect will carry into the second half of the year,” said Bill Fay, Toyota Division group vice president and general manager. “Sales in June were solid, and demand didn’t skip a beat.  Customers are already showing an interest in the all-new Corolla, our hybrid lineup had its best-ever June and Camry topped 35,000 units.”

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