By The Vicksburg Post
The Picayune Item
This week in a speech to the Lions Club, Mayor George Flaggs Jr. implored our community to build around the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Engineer Research and Development Center. Flaggs said after the meeting that ERDC’s operations provide an ongoing impact in the state, adding the center employs 1,711 people and its operations support an additional 1,631 jobs in the state.
The mayor spoke of the employees that live outside our community because our schools are not up to par with surrounding communities. To bring them in, he said, the Vicksburg Warren School District needs to improve education, including establishing another magnet school in the county.
The focus should not lie solely upon the Vicksburg Warren School District. ERDC should reach out to the schools and help to establish a STEM, or science, technology engineering and mathematics, curriculum. The facility hosts and mentors several robotics teams, but it can do more to reach the children of Warren County.
ERDC is one of the top 10 largest laboratories in the country, and home to the state’s fastest computer called “Garnett.” It’s composed of three Cray XE6 supercomputers integrated by the Department of Defense into a single leadership-class system. It has the ability to process calculations equal to approximately 7 million iPad 2s. It is the first petaflop system in Mississippi.
What a great resource ERDC could be to our children with top-notch technology and personnel. The mayor feels it is incumbent upon him to do what he can to create an open relationship with ERDC and Director Jeffery Holland expressed his sentiments to partner with the city.
There is no better time than the present to bridge the gap between the VWSD, the city and ERDC. The new superintendent is set to begin his tenure this month and we encourage him, along with Flaggs and Holland to forge a new relationship to benefit the future of our community.