Sponsored by The Trent Lott National Center for Excellence in Economic Development and Entrepreneurship
In This Issue
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Job Openings 


Jefferson Parish Economic Development Commission looking for Economic Development Specialists in Greater New Orleans area. View Position


Hancock County Port and Harbor Commission seeking economic development intern for the summer of 2015  View Position

Upcoming Events
March 2, 2015
Rhodes and Ingram Scholarship Award
Thomas Kern of Jackson, MS is this year's recipient of the Rhodes and Ingram Economic Development Scholarship Endowment which provides tuition assistance related to courses toward completion of a Masters degree in Economic Development. The scholarship was founded in 2002 from funds raised at a roast for retiring economic developer Jack R. Rhodes. From 1966 to 2002, Jack was a leader in Mississippi's economic development community.  He started on the staff of the Mississippi A&I Board, now the Mississippi Development Authority. He was active in economic development professional organizations and was a special assistant to Governor Paul B. Johnson. He finished up his career as Vice President of Economic Development for the Electric Power Associations of Mississippi. When he retired, the State of Mississippi Senate passed Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 595 commending him for his 44 years of service in the economic development field.
Economic Impact Study for the International Ballet Competition
Researchers at the Trent Lott National Center at the University of Southern Mississippi recently completed an economic impact study for the International Ballet Competition's United States event in Jackson, Mississippi.  The study determined that the June 2014 event attracted over 40,000 competitors, judges, special guest, and attendees from 39 states and 10 nations outside the United States.  With in-state expenditures reaching over $8.4 million, $3.3 million in personal income was generated for the people of Mississippi.  Furthermore, almost half a million dollars were added to the state General Fund as a result of the increased in-state spending.  This is the third study of the Jackson, Mississippi installment of the International Ballet Competition the Trent Lott National Center has completed, with the previous studies taking place in 2006 and 2010. Dr. Brian Richard of Northern Illinois University provided special support to the research team throughout the course of the study.  

Microsoft CRM Incorporated into the Classroom

Students in ED 721 Management and Ethics for Economic Development this spring will get hands on training on Microsoft Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software for Economic Developers from Cloud Nine Solutions.  CRM systems involve using technology to organize, automate, and synchronize economic development processes for marketing, customer service, and technical support. Many EDOs are adopting a CRM approach for industry attraction and business retention/expansion. The students will learn to use the CRM system to manage the data for accounts, contacts, and leads, create marketing campaigns, execute the campaigns, and manage projects, properties and incentives. Since USM is a Microsoft Dynamics Academic Alliance (DynAA) member, the MSED program has access to Microsoft Dynamics products in their curriculum or academic research in disciplines such as accounting information systems, managerial accounting, professional selling, marketing, and operations management. Second half-semester (8W2) classes begin Monday, March 16, 2015 so time is still available to register for ED 721. 

Thompson Accepts the Challenge: I-69 Congressional Coalition Co-Charman
Reprinted with permission from Delta Council

Congressman Bennie Thompson of Mississippi has accepted to Co-Chair the House Congressional Coalition for I-69 during 2015, while the transportation and infrastructure legislation is being considered by the Congress.  The long-term transportation and infrastructure bill currently creeping through the legislative process, will offer the next big opportunity to boost the 7-State I-69 project throughout its path between Canada and Mexico. 
"We are very grateful to Congressman Thompson for taking this leadership position in the Congressional Coalition to advocate the advancement of I-69, by extending the designation of this new interstate highway as an artery of National and Regional Significance," stated Walton Gresham, the longtime highway leader of Delta Council who serves as President this year. Thompson will be joined by House Member Blake Farenthold of Texas as a Co-Chair.  The long-term, multi-year highway measure is expected to be acted upon during the 2015 session of this term of Congress, and Committee Chairmen from the House and Senate have charted a course to complete the business of a new highway program by the end of this year.
"We have a big year ahead of us and we feel that we are positioned well to stack up in a way which gives us a good opportunity to make meaningful progress toward our long-range goal of completing I-69," stated Lo Walker, the Mayor of Bossier City, Louisiana, who currently serves as Chairman of the 7-State I-69 Coalition.

2015 Innovating for Women Business Challenge

The Small Business Administration (SBA) has created a women's business challenge, InnovateHER, to discover products and services that help impact and empower the lives of women and families. Our workforce looks very different from 50 years ago and women now make up nearly half of the labor force. As our population ages, families are balancing the needs of work and home.

InnovateHER provides an opportunity for entrepreneurs to showcase products or services that have a measurable impact on the lives of women and families, have the potential for commercialization, and fill a need in the marketplace. The first round goes live March 1st and throughout the month of March, universities, accelerators, resource partners and other organizations will host local competitions.

Participants must be at least 18 years of age and a U.S. citizens or permanent residents. For more information and complete rules visit the SBA InnovateHER website. 

Southern Miss Economic Development | tasha.may@usm.edu | 118 College Drive #5191
Hattiesburg, MS 39401-0001