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Patrick Scheuermann speaks at Picayune Rotary Club

Stennis Space Center Director Patrick Scheuermann spoke at the Picayune Rotary Club luncheon on Tuesday.

Scheuermann began by acknowledging the 660 families who gave up their homes to enable the building of Stennis Space Center and adequate buffer zone. He also acknowledged Glade Woods for his efforts to help develop Stennis and promote the county.

Woods worked over 40 years at Stennis Space Center, mostly with NASA. He also worked at Stennis with NOAA and MSU’s Northern Gulf Institute. He received NASA’s Exceptional Service Award twice. He was Career Federal Employee of the Year for the Mississippi Gulf Coast Area and served on the board of the NASA Infinity Space Science Center at Stennis Space Center. Woods passed away Friday, May 25th of this year due to illness.

Scheuermann said, “The sacrifices made in the beginning are continuing to provide dividends to our area. Today, 5,400 people come to work everyday with the largest percentage of them living in Pearl River County. These employees bring about 2,200 jobs to the surrounding communities.

“We take our job very seriously and we are proud of our history. While other (space) centers are asking, ‘What next?’ Visitors can come to any of our six engines we are testing and know that we are at the front end of the critical path for the future of space exploration.

“We are currently testing six different engines for both NASA and commercial partners. This is a unique Federal city that now houses more than 30 Federal, State, educational and commercial entities on site.”

Scheuermann noted that of the ten NASA Centers, Stennis ranks behind only Kennedy in managed space.

“In these lean economic times, we are maintaining 85 percent of occupancy and are at the top position for that area,” he said.

He basis his high occupancy rate on the pull of the area surrounding the center. “It is easy for potential employees to choose Stennis once they see the surrounding communities and quality of life which we offer here.”

Picayune Rotary President Jim Luke, stated “It was an honor to have the Director of John C. Stennis Space Center, Patrick Scheuermann, as our guest speaker. Mr. Scheuermann has deep roots in Pearl River County and gave an outstanding presentation about the Space Center being an economic engine for the future of Picayune, Pearl River County and surrounding areas.”