Decision years ago to create Economic Partnership continues to pay dividends

Published 8:11 pm Monday, January 27, 2020

Last week, the Warren County Port Commission announced it had been the recipient of a large grant from the Mississippi Development Authority for infrastructure improvements to the Ceres Industrial Park. 

Specifically, the grant will be used to help fund construction of a road to the park’s largest open site, going near the Tyson’s plant and over a creek. 

Completion of the road will check yet another box in the Port Commission’s to-do list in making the park, and the large open site in particular, among the most marketable locations in the state of Mississippi and this region.

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In a few weeks, the Love’s Travel Center will be completed and traffic at the Flowers exit will grow at a rapid pace, not just bringing additional exposure and business to the industrial park complex, but all of Warren County. 

When you add this grant and the work it will help fund, along with the project ready status recently received by Entergy, the Ceres Industrial Park is moving from an after-thought in economic development circles to among the brightest attractions for local, regional and state economic development recruiters.

There are those who still want to question the move made a few years ago when the Chamber of Commerce, Economic Development Foundation and the Port Commission merged into what is now referred to as the Vicksburg-Warren Economic Development Partnership and went out to recruit a new director and economic developer. They found Pablo Diaz.

In that time, Pablo and his team, along with visionary business leaders on each of the boards of the chamber, foundation and commission, have set down a path that has fixed issues, made tough decisions and made the needed investments to strengthen the economic foundation of our community.

With all of this success, all of the progress and even more yet to come, how can there be any more questions? The results are the only answers we need.

This week, the Vicksburg-Warren County Chamber of Commerce will mark its 125th anniversary at the chamber’s annual meeting Friday at the Vicksburg Convention Center. In many ways, it will be a celebration of the chamber’s past and its present.

But as a part of the economic triad that makes up the Partnership, the chamber should also celebrate its future and the role it plays — along with the Port Commission and Economic Development Foundation — in driving Vicksburg and Warren County’s economic successes.

Congratulations once again to all those who have been a part of these recent successes and economic victories; it’s our feeling the best is still yet to come.