Tag Archives: Tupelo

Notes from 2011 NE Mississippi Economic Forecast Conference

These are my raw and unedited notes from the conference held on January 27, 2011 in Tupelo.

Billy Crews, President of the Community Development Foundation (CDF’s), opened with mention of CDF’s 10-year strategic plan.  He said that the strengths of the region this year were (1) CDF, (2) MTD Products expansion (lawn mowers), (3) General Atomics expansion (aircraft launching system), (4) Cooper Tire and (5) Toyota (first Carolla to roll of in fall 2011).

Weakness/Opportunities – (1) current unemployment rate in the region, (2) education levels, especially college attainment lagging state and national levels and (3) selective leadership/civility – “we must be on the same team, pulling in the same direction.”

Crews quit job as CEO of NE MS Daily Journal to become COO of Tupelo Public School District.  “I did that because we cannot have a great community without great public schools.”

Mike Randle, publisher of Southern Business and Development and http://www.randlereport.com, opened his comments by pointing out that the 2011 Person of the Year by his magazine is “The Citizens of Oklahoma City – The city that keeps investing in itself.”

Last year (2009) was a bad year for Mississippi when it comes to major deals (200 or more jobs and/or $30mm investment), but Mississippi may be in the running for State of the Year for 2010.

Tupelo is one of only three communities in the South to win Small Community of the year.

Ranking of categories (jobs created of 200 or more) since 1992 (1) automotive, (2) call centers, (3) financial services, (4) distributors and (5) energy.

Top 15 Industries in the South (based on 200+ jobs)

1.  Energy – 39
2. Food & Beverage (34)
3.  Automotive (29)
4.  Oil & gas (23)
5.  Call centers (21)
6.  Chemicals (21)
7.  Headquarters (19)
8.  Financial centers (18)
Aerospace and aviation (18)
9.  Building materials (17)
10. Distribution (15)
Defense contractors (15)

Biggest sector losing jobs was service sector, not manufacturing.

The South does relative well during a recession because margins are tight for manufacturers – where else are they going to go.

A manufacturing “beachhead” will be created in the South in the next 10 years and in Mexico because that’s the only place for manufactures to go and make money.  Manufacturers will flee non-right-to-work states like never before.  For manufacturers, what’s going on with unions now cannot be sustained.  Prediction: mass migration of manufacturers to the South.  Randle predicted that Boeing will have one-half of its 75/80K employees in Washington state.  The rest will be in the South.

1997 was the year when the services sector began outperforming manufacturing (jobs 200+).  Stayed that way until 2007, when manufacturing started outperfroming services.

Manufacturing jobs in the South:

YEAR   NUMBER(millions)

2010     4.23
2009     4.37
2008     4.64
2007     5.11
2006     5.2
2005     5.54

Manufacturing jobs by region:  South – 4.23mm, Midwest – 3.14mm, Northeast – 2.3mm, West – 1.91mm.

“It’s technology that is taking people off the factory floor.”

In terms of GDP, if the South were a country it would be the 4th largest country, behind US, China and Japan – and ahead of Germany.



Remarks to NE Mississippi Economic Outlook Conference

Yesterday (Jan 20) I had the honor of making a presentation to the Northeast Mississippi Economic Outlook Conference sponsored by the Community Development Foundation.  Below are links to coverage of the event.

But Scott and Hardwick said the jobless figures will ease as the U.S. Census Bureau hires thousands of temporary workers for this year’s count.  In Mississippi’s case, employment overall has been centered in about 10 clusters across the state, Hardwick said. More… (NE Mississippi Daily Journal)

“I’m not really optimistic about revenues increasing, I am impressed with the way that State government is handling this, so far, says Phil Hardwick of the Stennis Institute of Government. More... (WTVA)

Mississippi Senator Alan Nunnelee Tapped for National Committee

Mississippi Senator Alan Nunnelee, R-Tupelo, has been appointed Vice Chairman of the National Conference of State Legislatures’ (NCSL) Health Committee.  North Carolina Speaker of the House and incoming NCSL President Joe Hackney recently announced the appointment.

“I am honored to represent the interests of state legislatures in the continuing debate over the changing state-federal relationship,” Nunnelee said.

The Health Committee is one of 11 standing committees of the National Conference of State Legislatures. The standing committees are responsible for developing policies that guide NCSL’s activities on Capitol Hill and within the administration. The policies stress three themes: opposition to unfunded federal mandates, prevention of unnecessary preemption of state laws and protection of state revenue sources.

“Senator Nunnelee brings a great deal of knowledge and experience to the table,” said Speaker Joe Hackney. “As a leader of this important committee, Senator Nunnelee will help determine NCSL policies relating to Medicare, Medicaid, health cost and access.”

Nunnelee is chairman of the state senate’s Appropriations Committee and serves as Vice Chairman of the Public Health and Welfare Committee as well as a number of other national committees addressing public health issues.

“I’m convinced that access to affordable quality health care is one of the most important issues facing our state and nation,” Nunnelee said. “I have spent most of my legislative career in these areas, and I am honored that Speaker Hackney has asked me to serve in this important leadership position. This leadership role will allow me to better serve the people of Mississippi.”

Nunnelee has served since 1995.

CDF in Tupelo named in Top Ten economic development organizations.

Site Selection magazine has named the Community Development Foundation, headquartered in Tupelo, Mississippi, to its 2007 list of Top Ten economic development groups in the United States.  The selection is based on the following criteria:

total capital investment;
investment per capita;
total jobs created;
jobs created per capita;
the contributions of the local or regional economic development organization toward the attainment of these numbers;
overall economic vitality;
depth and breadth of economic strength;
diversity of industry;
ability to generate breakthrough deals;
and the ability to provide verifiable documentation for all projects.