When the new governor and legislature convene in January, they'll be met with an action plan, the 2011 Blueprint Mississippi, designed to chart the course of the state's future.
"Mississippi has moved into a position of great promise," said Mississippi Economic Council president Blake Wilson.
That promise is reflected in the blueprint highlighting nine key areas vital to the state's economic prosperity. From infrastructure and healthcare to the state's economy and social issues, blueprint chairman and IHL commissioner Hank Bounds says those nine areas now come with recommendations for improvement.
"The end goal is to ensure that we create the kind of Mississippi that ensures that our children and grandchildren have the opportunity to get good paying jobs so that they can stay here in Mississippi," said Bounds.
The $1.25 million project was funded through private money and sponsored by the MEC. Wilson says Mississippi is already competing with other states better than ever and is fifth in growth of gross state product among 12 blueprint states.
"That is a dramatic achievement. To be able to be growing at this level, now the question is how do we keep this momentum going even in a down economy," said Wilson.
"What you find is that we're doing a really fantastic job. Now, that doesn't mean that we don't have miles to go. We still have lots of work to do," said Bounds.
By investing in areas like high tech jobs, physician retainment and business incentives while focusing on the social issues, both Bounds and Wilson say the foundation is there and it's time progress be built on it.
"Standing still is sliding backwards, you've got to continue to make sure your edge is sharp," said Wilson.
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