If you had to pick a color to best describe Mississippi's emerging economic sector, it would be green.
"Mississippi has had a lot of success in this area," said LSU Division of Economic Development Director Dek Terrell.
A study examining the state's green economy shows Mississippi is in a position to become a national leader in green jobs and industries. The state has more than 17,000 primary green jobs already which is almost two percent of total non-farm employment. When factoring in green support jobs, almost five percent of the workforce in the state deals with green jobs, which is right on track with other states around the country.
"Mississippi has a lot of green going on and future green. Projected green growth is I think 18.5 percent over the next ten years which is more than all industries combined," said Mississippi Department of Employment Security Labor Market information Director Mary Willoughby.
The state is no stranger to going green with places like recycling centers in Sumrall. In certain areas, Mississippi is even leading the way.
"There are these areas such as solar manufacturing where Mississippi is ahead of a lot of the other states," said Terrell.
The year and a half long study was done in conjunction with Louisiana thanks to a grant from the US Department of Labor. With future green growth expected, more industries could put their eyes on Mississippi, creating a core of new jobs.
"For the country as a hole and in Mississippi and in Louisiana, you see growth that's faster than the overall economy," said Terrell.
"Whether it's green or not, any industry that comes to the state or that we can grow helps grow employment within Mississippi," said Willoughby.
With an eleven percent unemployment rate, greening up Mississippi just may add to the economic fuel state leaders are looking for.
A new web site is also being launched to highlight green construction projects, industries and jobs. To look, follow the link below.
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