A New Day, A New Opportunity for Mississippi
The MEC Tour is made possible thanks to a generous sponsorship from:
In an effort to keep our members safe, the 2021 MEC Tour will have limited capacity at each event.
If you would like to participate, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
A historical barrier is now gone. With a new flag flying, we have an opportunity to be bold and move Mississippi forward as we’ve never done before.
Identifying key initiatives to enhance opportunities for economic growth in three areas – Education and Workforce Development, an Improving Business Climate, and keeping and attracting the best and brightest talent to Mississippi – will change our course.
MEC is building on the information gathered in its Endeavor report, a study that focused on Mississippi’s long-term growth and sustainability, to determine the best path forward to advance an economic environment conducive to today’s opportunities while preparing for future possibilities.
The goals outlined in Endeavor are designed to:
- Develop workforce opportunities for people to gain academic and industry credentials along with life and practical skills to succeed in the job market.
- Increase educational achievement so citizens can be workforce-ready and college-ready through knowledge sharing and in-state opportunities.
- Provide pathways with a clear career in mind
- Compel integration of workforce programs within and between education and workforce sectors.
- Retain and attract highly qualified workers in the state.
- Prepare citizens to be future innovators and Mississippi leaders.
Our objective is simple: Prepare our citizens for the opportunities that exist today, while outlining a plan for meeting needs for the future.
While several steps have been taken toward meeting the objectives outlined in the Endeavor report, three key issues that must be addressed if we are going to find a way to have meaningful change throughout the state. To forward, we must have open and honest conversations concerning:
Creating a Work-Ready Workforce (Education & Workforce Development)
- Increasing educational achievement of Mississippians places more of our citizens in a position to be workforce and college-ready. This could also help address Mississippi’s low workforce participation rate.
- Students are going out-of-state for their college internships; we must provide opportunities for knowledge sharing, learning and helping students find their opportunities and a career path in Mississippi.
- To prepare citizens to be future innovators and future leaders, we must look for ways to expand beyond the traditional education model. Are there ways to continue and improve virtual learning to provide opportunities that might not otherwise exist?
- Identify and teach the in-demand skills that will lead to a career in today’s job market.
- Having a work-ready workforce also means focusing on health. Having healthier employees means they are more productive in the workplace, have increased job satisfaction and a greater sense of community – all resulting in a healthy bottom line and making our shared communities better places to live and work.
Enhancing Economic Development Opportunities (Business Climate)
- A barrier to growth is now gone. How do we capitalize on a new state flag to increase investment and spur growth?
- The creation of higher-paying jobs throughout the state is vital for providing opportunities for our citizens and raising the state’s per-capita income.
- Advances in K-12, post-secondary, and career and technical education could also increase Mississippi’s ability to attract new companies and investment in non-traditional sectors, many of which tend to have higher wages.
- Determine the role of infrastructure, technology advancement and broadband availability in growing our economy.
- Focus on improving the quality of life in our communities outside of the workplace and home. People seek places to gather, relax and fellowship, such as parks, greenspaces, museums, entertainment venues, or bike trails.
The ability to retain and attract talent to our state (Brain Drain)
- Brain drain is an issue for many rural states across the country and it is having an impact on Mississippi.
- As prospective employers look to Mississippi, they are looking for healthier employees who want a better and brighter future for themselves and their families.
- Population loss and population shifts within the state are a factor in having a workforce necessary for filling the job needs of today and in the future.
- How do we retain highly qualified workers and attract people to the state?
The Role of the MEC Tour:
The MEC Tour is a vital part of allowing the organization, as the State Chamber of Commerce, to communicate the overall objective and gain additional knowledge from business and community leaders on ways to create new opportunities for Mississippi.
Extensive feedback is vital in achieving the desired outcomes:
- To focus on key initiatives to create a renewed momentum and enthusiasm for growing Mississippi’s economy – statewide, regionally, and locally
- To get vital feedback to align statewide initiatives with local community needs.
- Set a program of work for MEC advocacy initiatives that are designed to have a broad-based impact on improving Mississippi.
- Create excitement for MEC’s work and grow participation in all regions and communities across Mississippi.
MEC Tour 2021 Locations
The MEC Tour is Generously Sponsored by: