Category Archives: Business

WIN Center Moves to New Location, Still Helping Workers Find Jobs PDQ

MAYHEW – Courtesy of the Commercial Dispatch

The WIN center, which helps to match prospective employees up with jobs of all sorts, is up and running during its move to a new facility at EMCC’s Center for Manufacturing Technology Excellence in Mayhew.

Calvin Dailey, an interviewer with the WIN center, said the state-funded job placement center regularly draws 200 to 400 people, mostly job-seekers, per week from Clay, Lowndes, Oktibbeha, Noxubee and neighboring counties, depending on the season.  “If you just come in here saying, ‘I need a job today,’ nine times out of 10, we’re able to get you a job today because you just want employment,” he said. “But if you come in and you’ve got a resume and you want something specific, we’re going to work with you until we help you get that job.” He went on to remark that “Moving here turns us into a one-stop shop; moving here was a great benefit to our people, really.”

Once a client comes seeking a job, WIN creates a profile — that can be used at any WIN center in the state — and helps track potential matching openings.  The WIN center also offers a variety of training programs, designed to help workers build better resumes, dress for success, and more. They also provide assistance to workers displaced due to jobs being outsourced overseas, as well as to veterans in search of work.

There is no cost to use the WIN center’s services, and the referral service does not conduct background checks nor drug testing; workplaces that require these are expected to handle it themselves.

The city of Starkville recently submitted 10 job orders to the WIN center, and City Human Resources Director Navarrete Ashford said that seems to be working out well — with interviews for eight of those openings scheduled this week.

The WIN center, as always, works hard to help people find work, and to help employers find workers – and THAT’S Good for Business!

Please click here for the full article.

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Internet Tax Bill in Jeopardy

Internet Tax Bill in Jeopardy


This is a follow-up to a couple of stories we published recently:

PRESS RELEASE — Associated Press by way of The Dispatch

JACKSON — The Mississippi House could be on track to reverse itself and eventually kill a proposed internet sales tax.

Jeff Smith (courtesy photo)

House Bill 480 passed the House on Wednesday, despite opposition from some Republicans who said they oppose any new taxes. The bill would enforce sales tax collections for items sold over the internet, and would earmark the money for road and bridge work.

The bill was put on hold for the possibility of more debate. On Thursday, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jeff Smith, R-Columbus, tried to remove that hold and send the bill to the Senate — but opponents blocked him.

The House has until Feb. 13 to reconsider the bill. If nothing happens by then, the bill will die.

The bill is an effort to formalize the collection of sales taxes from and others that sell goods to Mississippians from outside the state. It would set aside the internet sales tax collections to pay for road and bridge work, with 70 percent going to the state, 15 percent to counties and 15 percent to cities.

College Board researchers estimated in January that Mississippi was losing between $106 million and $123 million in sales tax revenue. Transportation officials say they need at least $500 million to prevent roads from deteriorating. However, many lawmakers refuse to raise fuel taxes, leaving road advocates searching for other revenue.

Original article here:

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IHL Commish Emphasizes the Need for MS’s Future Success: More College Grads

IHL Commish Emphasizes the Need for MS’s Future Success: More College Grads

COLUMBUS – Info courtesy of the Dispatch

Glenn Boyce – IHL commissioner (courtesy photo)

Glenn Boyce, commissioner of Mississippi’s Institutions of Higher Learning, recently spoke to the Rotary Club about what he feels is needed for the state to continue its success in business going forward: Namely, getting people into college – and more importantly – seeing them through to graduation.

“Mississippi’s future economic growth is post-secondary training,” Boyce said. “The simple truth is that if we don’t get Mississippians through college with a degree, our economic growth is going to stagnate. By 2020 — that’s just three years from now — studies show that 65 percent of all new jobs will require a post-second degree or specialized training.”
Educating residents is one thing, though. Keeping them is another important issue, Boyce said.

He pointed out that students in Mississippi have been making great strides in recent years in terms of both education in general and the college graduation rate, but that we still lag far behind the national average. He also spoke about the need to provide viable work opportunities for new graduates in-state: “You hear a lot about what’s called ‘The Brain Drain’ in Mississippi,” he said. “It’s disturbing. We’re losing as many as 50 percent of our graduates to other states. It’s not because they don’t love Mississippi. It’s because there aren’t opportunities for them here. If they have the opportunities, they will stay. In fact, we know that Mississippians come back to the state at a high rate when opportunities arise.”

Fortunately, things are looking up – step by step. “Thanks to the (IHL) board, we’re starting two bio-medical engineering programs at Mississippi State and Ole Miss,” Boyce said. “We want to create a wave of engineers specially trained for the bio-medical industry and then go after those companies. But we have to create the labor pool of qualified workers before we can go after those companies. We can’t bring in the companies and then train workers.”

Please click here to see the full article.

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MS House Considers Collecting Tax on Internet Sales to Prop Up Infrastructure

MS House Considers Collecting Tax on Internet Sales to Prop Up Infrastructure

Info Courtesy of The Associated Press


Mississippi’s House voted on Wednesday to enforce existing tax law regarding the collection of taxes on internet purchases made by Mississippi residents. Under this new proposal, the revenue collected will be earmarked for road and bridge work.  By a 79-38 vote, representatives passed House Bill 480, formally codifying efforts to collect taxes from and other vendors that sell goods to Mississippians from outside the state. 70%  will go to the state, 15% to counties, and 15 percent% to cities for the infrastructure improvements.

Rep. Trey Lamar, R-Senatobia, emphasized that under current state law, consumers already are supposed to pay use taxes. However, officials have said enforcement on individual consumers is nearly impossible.  He emphasized that this is not a new tax, but rather, a way to collect taxes that people were supposed to have been paying all along, and to put them to good use.

Under the latest bill, retailers would be responsible for collecting the online sales taxes. Even without the law in place, Mississippi’s Department of Revenue has proposed rules to collect the taxes, and voluntarily agreed earlier to start collecting taxes Wednesday.

Please click here to read the full article.

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Insitu Visits MSU in Search of Talent

Insitu Visits MSU in Search of Talent


The Dispatch – Starkville, MS

Executives from Boeing subsidiary Insitu were in town recently, following up on last year’s work towards establishing a foothold for their aircraft in the Golden Triangle area. They are currently seeking candidates to fill at least two “high-skill” positions within their company, along with a possible internship, and they have chosen MSU’s recent job fair as the best place to start looking. Mississippi State is the lead university in the Federal Aviation Administration’s Alliance for System Safety of UAS through Research Excellence (ASSURE) program. The university is also an FAA Center of Excellence.

Insitu leadership Darcy Davidson, Benjamin Tarkany, Charlton Evans, and Jon Damush meet with the local media at Mississippi State University Tuesday afternoon. The Boeing subsidiary that works with unmanned aerial systems is opening a location at the Thad Cochran Research, Technology and Economic Development Park in Starkville. Photo by: Deanna Robinson/Dispatch Staff

Benjamin Tarkany coordinates talent acquisition at Insitu.  “We have established a vision of what we want to do with the office,” he said. “At first it was more (looking at) what are the capabilities in the area, and we’ve aligned what we can do project-wise with the talent pool here and what we think we can realistically bring to sit out of this office and see benefit from it . . . We’re engaging candidates here locally and we’re also hoping to bolster our applicants by being here and present,” he later added.

Insitu Vice President and General Manager Jon Damush said,  “The challenge in that is that you might be able to find a place that has conducive airspace, but most of the time conducive airspace is not co-located with any kind of infrastructure or human resources capacity, let alone an academic capacity . . .When we became aware of what was happening at Mississippi State with the ASSURE program and economic development efforts that are going on here, to us it looked like the perfect alignment of factors.”

Please click here to see the full article.

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Joe Max Higgins Helps Golden Triangle to Make a Great Impression

Joe Max Higgins Helps Golden Triangle to Make a Great Impression

“Business Facilities” magazine did a great article following up on CBS’ coverage of our own Joe Max Higgins not too long ago, highlighting his zeal and efforts in bringing manufacturing plants and jobs to our area. Higgins has been working tirelessly for many years to help revitalize our area — and that’s Good for Business!


Thanks to an interview on last Sunday’s 60 Minutes broadcast on CBS, the economic development community has a new mega-star, and his name is Joe Max Higgins. Higgins is Economic Development director for Mississippi’s Golden Triangle.

As revealed during his star turn on 60 Minutes, Higgins is a project-building dynamo. Since he arrived in the Golden Triangle in 2003, Joe Max has turned a rural stretch of the Magnolia State into one of the hottest high-growth locations you can find anywhere. If you didn’t watch Sunday’s show, we encourage you to check it out.

Here are some highlights:

Under Joe Max Higgin’s leadership, the area has attracted $6 billion in new investments. Unemployment in the Golden Triangle is now 6 percent and falling fast.

Beginning in the 1990s, the Golden Triangle began suffering an exodus of manufacturing jobs in its primary industries of textiles, toys and tubing, with a majority of the estimated 12,000 jobs it lost leaving for overseas locations. Since Higgins arrived, more than half of these jobs have been replaced. According to Joe Max, the influx of 6,000 new manufacturing jobs to the tri-county region was driven by companies who had offshored production coming to the realization that they could produce their goods and get them to market from plants in Mississippi cheaper than by shipping them to the U.S. from overseas plants.

Joe Max’s in-your-face approach has landed some killer deals for the Golden Triangle, including a Steel Dynamics plant that is one of the most advanced steel mills in the nation.

Higgins’ bulldog tenacity is applied to state and county officials as well as corporate site selectors. He’s succeeded in convincing them to pony up more than half a billion in incentives and tax breaks to grease the wheels of dealmaking in the Golden Triangle.

Higgins told 60 Minutes that when he arrived in the Golden Triangle the area was “paralyzed” by poverty. But he saw some golden assets that could form a foundation for solid growth, including an airport, railways and waterways that connect the area to the Gulf Coast in the south and the Great Lakes in the north.

Higgins told the locals to shake off what he called “a losing attitude” and realize they had the assets to make the Triangle “big and strong and fast.”

Bulldog indeed. You’ve got our full attention Joe Max, and we look forward to keeping everyone up to date on the great progress being made in Mississippi’s Golden Triangle.


Click this link to view the full article

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Amazon to Begin Charging Sales Tax to MS Customers

Info courtesy of the Clarion-Ledger via WCBI:

JACKSON, Miss. (WCBI-TV) – There’s impactful news Tuesday about Mississippi’s budget that could affect your online shopping.

The Department of Revenue says Amazon has agreed to start collecting a 7 percent tax on sales in the state. It’ll start Feb. 1.

Commissioner Herb Frierson says it could make more than $15 million for the state. Consumer prices will likely rise.

The announcement came Tuesday on the Mississippi Department of Revenue’s Facebook page. Amazon, the online sales giant, had the option of facing an audit for the last three years or agree to a new tax, according to the Clarion-Ledger.

Amazon To Start Collecting Mississippi Sales Tax

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Business and Higher Education in MS Working Hand in Hand

Business and Higher Education in MS Working Hand in Hand

January 19, 2017

Press Release, MS State (link below)

More than 95 percent of jobs created during the recovery have gone to workers with at least some college education, while those with a high school diploma or less are being left behind, according to America’s Divided Recovery: College Haves and Have-Nots, a recent report from Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce.

Understanding the crucial link between higher education and economic development, the Mississippi Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning and the Mississippi Development Authority have worked together for decades to leverage higher education assets to attract business and industry to Mississippi. The two entities formalized this partnership through a Memorandum of Understanding signed by Glenn McCullough Jr., Executive Director of the Mississippi Development Authority, Dr. Douglas W. Rouse, President of the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning and Dr. Glenn Boyce, Commissioner of Higher Education, at a Board of Trustees meeting held Thursday [Jan. 19] in Jackson.

In collaboration with Mississippi’s eight public universities, the Board of Trustees and MDA will showcase Mississippi to companies that will create jobs and invest capital.

“Mississippi’s public universities are a strategic advantage in community and economic development so MDA is pleased to formally recognize our partnership with the Institutions of Higher Learning to provide new career opportunities for Mississippians,” McCullough said. “Working together, MDA and the IHL will aggressively leverage the assets we share to accelerate economic opportunity for Mississippians throughout the state.”

Dr. Glenn Boyce, Commissioner of Higher Education; Dr. Douglas W. Rouse, President, Mississippi Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning; and Glenn McCullough, Jr., Executive Director, Mississippi Development Authority. Photo: MS State

As outlined in the MOU, the expected outcomes include:

— Increased pipeline of companies to consider Mississippi for expansion and growth.

— Increased number of corporate contacts and project leads for MDA.

— Increased opportunities for corporate entities and Mississippi’s public universities to support one another.

— Defined and mapped catalog of the respective economic development strengths of Mississippi’s public universities.

— Increased business growth across the state.

— Stabilization and growth of jobs in defined sectors.

“Working together, our university system and the state’s economic development engine can build on our collective strengths for the benefit of the state,” Boyce said. “This Memorandum of Understanding better defines our roles and efforts, enabling the partnership to become a force multiplier for the state’s economy.”

Some of the planned efforts include shared marketing messages, joint outreach to strategic clients and business leaders and identifying and supporting shared legislative priorities. Each organization will designate a representative to serve as a point of contact and liaison for the effort who will support the goals of the MOU.

In addition to the MOU signing, another initiative was announced at the ceremony. This initiative is an online tool designed to help recent and soon-to-be graduates find jobs in the state, Set to complete the pilot phase and begin statewide implementation soon, the site allows students to receive email alerts when jobs in their desired career tracks become available.

The online tool was conceived by Mark Henry, Executive Director of the Mississippi Department of Employment Services. Spearheaded by MDES, the site was developed by the National Strategic Planning & Analysis Research Center (NSPARC) at Mississippi State University and is managed by the Mississippi Department of Employment Security. The career centers at the universities assist MDES in informing students about how to create a profile and use the site.

“This website is an important tool to help our students transition into the workforce and keep our graduates in the state,” Boyce said. “I’m not sure there has ever been a better communicative tool for keeping students up-to-date on job openings.”

MDA, IHL and the universities also plan to hold a semi-annual strategic conversation to align strategies and goals and produce a joint annual summary report of the outcomes and results of their collaborative work.


Click here to see original article: MS State Press Release


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MSU and Ole Miss Rank Highly in National Online MBA Poll

MSU and Ole Miss Rank Highly in National Online MBA Poll

WTVA brings us great news –  both Ole Miss and Mississippi State University got excellent scores in a nationwide study of online Master of Business Administration degree programs conducted by US News & World Report. The state is looking better and better for prospective businessmen and women! And THAT’s Good for Business!

Here is their press release:

(WTVA) – Two Mississippi universities have been ranked high when it comes to earning an MBA online.

U.S. News & World Report tied Ole Miss at number 21 nationally when it comes to earning a Master of Business Administration online and Mississippi State University tied at number 18.

According to the report, earning a Master’s degree in business adminstration is one of the most popular and growing graduate programs a person can take.

The report ranked schools using five criteria: student engagement, admissions selectivity, peer reputation, faculty credentials and training, and student services and technology.

To see the full list, click this link.

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Ground Broken on EMCC’s $42mil Communiversity Facility

By Golden Triangle Development LINK

GOLDEN TRIANGLE – On Friday morning, December 9, local, state and federal agencies gathered to break ground on the Golden Triangle’s newest workforce development project, The Communiversity.

EMCC Communiversity Groundbreaking. Courtesy The GTR LINK

EMCC Communiversity Groundbreaking. Courtesy The GTR LINK

A $42+ million dollar project, the facility will be East Mississippi Community College’s state-of-the-art workforce technical training facility at the Golden Triangle Campus. Community groups began working on the project in December 2013. Funding for the project is sourced from state bonds ($18M), the Appalachian Regional Commission ($10.7M), local community funds from Clay, Lowndes and Oktibbeha Counties ($13.5) and EMCC ($400K).

The new facility includes an interactive, museum style lobby and 21 high bay learning areas, a manufacturing display venue, classrooms and laboratories, and incubator bays for new start-ups. The 16 classroom spaces will be equipped with the latest in A/V technology. The facility will also include office, conference, and food service collaboration spaces for EMCC and other entities. The project consists of 145,638 square feet.

“Federal, state, and local agencies have come together to invest in the workforce here in east Mississippi and we could not be more pleased,” said Dr. Thomas Huebner, East Mississippi Community College President. “This project is a game changer in workforce education and development and we are excited about the opportunities it represents for the communities we serve.”

Both non-credit workforce classes and career technical programs leading to the Associate of Applied Science Degree will be offered.  Construction is under way and is scheduled to be completed in 2018.

“This facility will put the Golden Triangle on the cutting edge of workforce training,” said Joe Max Higgins, Jr., CEO of the Golden Triangle Development LINK. “Clay, Lowndes and Oktibbeha counties should be commended for investing in their citizens. The Communiversity will be a massive asset to industrial recruitment and our existing industries.”

Read the full press release here:

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