NASA remains a strong force for Pearl River County

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, February 10, 2016

“The state of NASA is strong”
That was the message Charlie Bolden, NASA’s administrator, drove home during NASA’s address to their employees and media representatives Tuesday afternoon.
Stennis Space Center is a major employer in this area. Many Pearl River County residents make a living from the engine testing facility. So to hear that the state of NASA is strong is comforting news.
A healthy budget has been proposed by the president of our nation, with $5 million in additional funds allocated to Stennis from the previous year to help them conduct testing that will help get the Space Launch System off the ground.
While layoffs did occur at the testing facility, leading to a 17 percent reduction in the workforce, it seems safe to say that Stennis will continue to offer high paying jobs to people living in the area.
That’s reassuring news. And Pearl River County can use more of it. While having new restaurants open in Picayune does drive the economy, what this area really needs is more high paying jobs that are based on an education centered around the STEM model.
By promoting our children to seek out degrees in science, technology, engineering and math, we give companies, corporations and government agencies that need this type of workforce a reason to establish operations either within the secure grounds of Stennis, or possibly somewhere else in the region.
Simply asking such employers to set up shop without providing them with the work force they need is not going to entice a change.
But, when parents instill in their children the drive to work toward employment in fields that will provide long-term high paying jobs, then Mississippi will begin to work toward being listed on the tops of lists with positive headlines, instead of negative ones.

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