Blueprint shows optimism for Mississippi growth - - Jackson, MS

Blueprint shows optimism for Mississippi growth

JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Laid out in more than a hundred pages is a very optimistic outlook on what's to come in Mississippi.

"We did an extensive process of going to 20 different communities in every corner of Mississippi," said Mississippi Economic Council President and CEO Blake Wilson who says the results were surprising. "We went to small towns, larger cities and without a fault people are feeling very, very positive." 

Wilson is one of the driving forces behind the 2011 Mississippi Blueprint which serves as an action plan for the state.

"That positive attitude is phenomenal because when I first came to Mississippi about 13 years ago, we did not see that same positive aspect so that is a huge step in building our ability in becoming the next jewel in the crown of the South," Wilson said.

In the report, the majority of business and community leaders from across the state predict Mississippi will be an emerging growth state within the next 10 years.

Wilson hopes that optimism ushers in more ribbon cuttings, putting Mississippi in line with states like Georgia and North Carolina.

"We're in a place of great opportunity here in Mississippi, so we've got to feel and celebrate every small victory and remember that incremental progress, day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year results in exponential progress over time," Wilson said.

The same blueprint shows there's also a concern Mississippi can't escape negative perceptions and about half of those responding think Mississippi kids will have to leave the state to find good jobs.

Wilson says with new high tech businesses already coming in, the foundation is being laid.

"People believe that we are going to be a place of great opportunity and we're building that so ten years from now that's how Mississippi is going to be viewed," Wilson said.

The view of Mississippi from Mississippians also plays role, a view Wilson says will vary.

"Folks who are in well educated college communities and economic hot spots like Jackson feel more positive than those who are in the very most rural parts of Mississippi. That's understandable." Wilson said. "What the purpose of this whole blueprint effort is, is to help folks in Mississippi, wherever they live, see where they can maximize their best opportunity for their region."

To view the full report and see your region click on the link under "Also on the Web".

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