MEC chief: Miss. economy has evolved

Published 12:00 am Sunday, April 20, 2014

Mississippi’s economy has thrived in the past decade because of a foundation laid years ago, the head of the state’s chamber of commerce said this week.

“When you think about it, it’s really amazing how things have changed over the last 10 to 15 years,” said Scott Waller, executive director of the Mississippi Economic Council told Vicksburg Rotary Club this week. “From an economic standpoint, Mississippi is viewed this way because of the people making great changes to the resources that were already here.”

“People are starting to see that Mississippi is a great place to do business in.”

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Mississippi’s economic outlook ranks higher than other southern states, Waller said.

“This didn’t happen by accident. There was a lot of work put in by lots of people to make this happen.”

State universities’ input in the automotive and aviation industries is helping the state move forward, he said.

“What’s good about Mississippi is that we have research universities that are doing the work that helps these companies succeed. Our universities play a big role because of all the resources available to them. Mississippi State was very instrumental in helping Nissan with its development of their plant in Canton.”

Waller said Blueprint Mississippi, a health care study commissioned to examine aspects of the Mississippi health care sector, shows how health care is a driving force for the economy.

“Health care can be very important when it comes to the delivery of workforce development, quality of life, business sustainability and creation of economic wealth.”