Rotary and Chamber hosts MEC

Published 1:01 pm Saturday, February 22, 2014

pathway to progress: From left: MEC President Blake Wilson (seated) listens as MDA Director of Tourism Malcolm White speaks to the group about the positive economic impact of focusing on the local creative economy. Jodi Marze | Picayune Item

Pathway to progress: From left: MEC President Blake Wilson (seated) listens as MDA Director of Tourism Malcolm White speaks to the group about the positive economic impact of focusing on the local creative economy.
Jodi Marze | Picayune Item

 

The Picayune Rotary Club and Greater Picayune Area Chamber of Commerce hosted the Picayune portion of the Mississippi Economic Council’s (MEC) 19-city Blueprint Mississippi Pathway to Progress Tour this past Tuesday at Paul’s Pastry.

The meeting led by MEC President and CEO Blake Wilson, featured Mississippi Development Authority Director of Tourism Malcolm White, MSU Excel by 5 Executive Director Bob Clay, Blue Cross Blue Shield representative Doug Henley and a video presentation by T1 Coalition President and Butler Snow attorney Charlie Williams.

The coalition rotates through communities throughout the state every four to seven years to gain community insights on concerns and priorities. They then report back to state leaders with data obtained by anonymous voting.

Voting is centered on the nine goals and recommendations the organization proposes to achieve a thriving state economy.

They are: Improved communication and cooperation among public, private and non-profit leaders; support of the state’s creative economy; cultivation of diversity; strengthen and expand state economy, increase state educational achievement, increase availability of financial capital; promote healthcare as an economic driver, continue to develop the infrastructure for a competitive economy and cultivate a more robust, state workforce.

The group rated: Educational achievement/ workforce preparedness; creative economy; healthcare as economic driver and developing the infrastructure for a competitive economy as their top concerns.

“We are one of six southern states to reach its pre-recession recovery,” Wilson said. “We are not doing as bad as some would like to have us believe.”

Infrastructure was a concern expressed by attendees.

After the 1987 Road Program a long term funding program was initiated, which