ED Partnership finalizing new look

Published 7:00 pm Monday, October 8, 2018

The Warren County Economic Development Partnership is expected to release a new logo and website for Warren County, and present a report on its accomplishments in January, Vicksburg-Warren Chamber of Commerce executive director Pablo Diaz said.

“The ED Partnership is currently focused on finalizing its new image, which includes a logo, a website, and all new marketing materials to present a cohesive brand to internal stakeholders and external — potential — investors,” he said.

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“We estimate all of that work will be finalized by the January 2019 chamber luncheon. At the January luncheon we plan to present this work to the entire community along with a report of accomplishments of the ED Partnership the past year and half.”

The Warren County Economic Development Partnership was organized in February 2017 and consists of the chamber, the Warren County Port Commission and the Warren County Economic Development Foundation. The strategic plan was presented to county residents in June.

Since the presentation of the strategic plan, Diaz said, the Partnership has held meetings, reviewed and organized the initiatives, goals and tactics presented in the plan, and developed a list of volunteers that are currently being invited to join committees that will support the implementation of the plan.

“It is important to understand that the plan is big, is comprehensive, and it requires many of its tasks to be directed and implemented by the Partnership staff and its leadership,” Diaz said. “That being said, the plan also requires the participation of people in the community that can lend their knowledge to the Partnership in areas that are not the specific expertise of our staff members, our closest economic development allies, board members, or the leadership in any of the organizations that make the ED Partnership.”

Initial committees that have been created and now being formed, he said, include the Defense and Innovation, Arts, Communications and Public Relations, Product Development and Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development.

“We have volunteers from different walks of life that have expressed interest in getting involved,

Diaz said. “We look forward to starting the work of the committees and to keeping an open door policy as the work is done.

“We will work closely with ERDC (the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center, the Corps’ Vicksburg and the Mississippi Valley Division as we implement several parts of the plan including the Defense and Innovation section and the product development section.”

The committees will meet during October to discuss specific tasks and to define how they best can affect the quick implementation of the plan.


Since unveiling of the plan, Diaz said, the Partnership has already implemented some of the tasks contained in the plan and did not require further participation from other institutions or members of the community.

“We have worked to attract businesses to the community and created jobs and we also have done a lot of work marketing the region to economic development stakeholders and consultants, which is in part the reason we have been able to generate leads, work on projects, and create jobs.”

He said the Partnership has received a good response from the public regarding the plan’s visionary nature.

Diaz said the Partnership has made “huge progress” on business recruitment initiatives, citing the more than 640 local jobs announced in the last 14 months alone.

“We identified and trained our economic development sales team and they have proven effective in delivering a powerful performance in front of prospects,” he said. “We have also started implementing parts of our external communications strategies that include hosting MDA (Mississippi Development Authority) in the region, hosting consultants, and meeting with consultants in other regions of the country to tell them more about Vicksburg and Warren County. “We have started planning work on the development of an entrepreneurship program that could be offered in the community next spring, and we have made additional progress towards getting funding and support from state agencies for the Mississippi Innovation & Technology Center,” he said.

He added the Partnership, has started “to change the narrative internally in our community as evidenced by the radio spots that share the good news about our region. 

“Our goal was to identify and quantify the ways our existing assets can be leveraged to change the economic landscape of the region, and when we get a chance to speak about the plan to people in the area they completely understand that our community has the necessary elements to drive the change and progress we seek through the implementation of the plan.”

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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