MEC release results of Blueprint tour

Published 7:00 am Friday, March 28, 2014

Picayune business and community leaders voiced their opinion about the economic future of the city through Mississippi Economic Council’s findings gathered during a recent tour.

The MEC released the results of their Blueprint Mississippi Pathway to Progress Tour through their Feb. 18, 2014 visit to Picayune. The results show 38 percent of those polled said advanced manufacturing was what they thought would be the greatest opportunity for Picayune’s economic growth.

“The MEC tour offered us a great insight into some of the current economic development thoughts,” said Mayor Ed Pinero, who is also Pearl River County Director of Planning and Economic Development. “They did a great job of providing us with ideas for future development.”

Picayune Director of Operations Harvey Miller said he thinks the survey is a great economic tool to better the city. He said Picayune residents who answer the survey point out issues they think the city needs to address.

Twenty percent of attendees also recognized educational achievement should be a top priority in the MEC’s Blueprint plan.

“Leaders in Picayune are in line with other leaders throughout Mississippi in their ranking of important economic development issues,” said MEC President Blake Wilson in a press release. “What we found particularly encouraging in Picayune was the great optimism about the direction the state is moving, and we look forward to continued partnerships from this area of the state.”

Blueprint Mississippi is the state’s long-term action plan to improve Mississippi’s economy.

The action plan was released in January 2012 and identifies nine goals and 33 recommendations to accomplish the goals.

During the MEC’s visit to Picayune, 83 percent of attendees said high school career and technical curriculum is very important in order to meeting Mississippi’s workforce needs. Picayune business and community leaders also had a positive outlook for Mississippi’s future. Forty percent of respondents polled said they predict Mississippi to be in a state of new growth within the next 10 years.

“The optimism really speaks to the opportunities that exist in Mississippi. There is no doubt Mississippi has made great strides in the past 10 years, but when you look at where our leaders believe will be 10 years from now it tells you a bright future is ahead,” said Wilson in a press release.