(PRWEB) November 10, 2013
Some 130 individuals gathered at Camp McCain Tuesday night to hear Mississippi’s adjutant general address the importance of the military to the state and to the area economy at the fourth annual meeting of the Grenada County Economic Development District.
GCEDD board chairman Josh Mattox led the meeting, which celebrated the economic development accomplishments in the last year, showcased the importance of Camp McCain in the community, highlighted the University of Mississippi Medical Center and their lease agreement with the Grenada hospital, and featured the establishment of the Dynamite Kirk Entrepreneurial Excellence Award.
The Grenada EDD annual meeting brings together local and state leaders to discuss the progress of economic development in Grenada. Each year, the Grenada EDD utilizes its annual meeting to highlight important issues or organizations that contribute to the community’s economic wellbeing.
This year’s meeting, held onsite at Camp McCain, focused on the economic impact that Camp McCain has on the Grenada region and the importance of this training facility to the military strength of the state.
In his remarks, Maj. Gen. Augustus L. Collins, state adjutant general, stressed that the camp’s economic impact in Grenada and surrounding counties is equal to that of some of the largest employers in the region. Camp McCain, located in Grenada County, employs about 140 and has an annual payroll of some $5 million. The camp provides ongoing positive economic impact to the regional economy by purchasing fuel, rations, and other supplies from area businesses throughout the year. In the past year alone, Collins said, the base has spent some $16 million on improvements, and much of that money was spent in the surrounding region.
Camp McCain, located on 13,000 acres near Elliott, annually provides training, administrative, engineering and operational support for units conducting individual and annual training for some 72,000 military personnel from all over the country. In times of natural disaster or emergency, the camp also becomes a logistical base for defense support to civil authorities.
EDD board chairman Mattox told the attendees that, since its inception in 2009, the Grenada EDD has handled economic development projects resulting in the announcement of more than 700 direct and indirect jobs in Grenada County, including projects in FY 2013.
Major highlights in economic development success this year include the expansion of Fly Timber Company and the reopening of Hankins Lumber Company, a longtime Grenada company that earlier this year rehired 120 direct employees and brought back an infusion of economic activity to the area.
Mattox also pointed out that the work of the EDD has contributed to a positive net job growth for Grenada County every year since 2009 – including the toughest years of the largest economic recession this country has seen in decades. He also pointed out that the investments in the manufacturing sector in recent years have been complemented by millions of dollars in retail and other related industries, culminating in a job growth rate of more than six percent during the first six months of 2013.
Chad Bridges, president of the Grenada County Board of Supervisors said, “We value the partnership between the County Board of Supervisors and the EDD and the success this partnership has brought to Grenada County.” “It is important that the community has the opportunity to come together and understand the vital role the EDD plays in bringing about job growth and economic opportunities for our citizens.”
Mayor Billy Collins added, “The City of Grenada works closely with the Grenada EDD in many fronts and we look forward to continuing our partnership with them. We have done a number of projects that created and retained jobs in the past four years and we want the job creation trend to continue into the future. I was glad the EDD decided to highlight the military as it is a crucial part of our local economy.”
The Grenada County Economic Development District (the EDD) is the official economic development entity for Grenada County and an MDA partner. Pablo Diaz is Executive Director of the Grenada County Economic Development District.