Musgrove's Economic Plan | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Musgrove's Economic Plan

October 5, 2003 -- (verbatim release) Today Governor Ronnie Musgrove proposed a detailed plan to keep Mississippi's economy moving forward. National unemployment has grown to a nine-year high, but we've seen 56,000 new jobs created in the last 3 years as a result of Governor Musgrove's tireless efforts to bring good jobs to Mississippi. According to the Bush Administration, Mississippi is one of only two states in the southeast to have seen a net growth in jobs last year. (Department of Housing and Urban Development for 2002-2003). MORE ...

In Governor Musgrove's first year in office, he authorized a study and worked with the legislature to enact landmark economic development legislation reflecting his vision and goals for the state. Called the "Advantage Mississippi Initiative", it replaced the state's antiquated economic development strategy with bold measures to encourage new and diversified business development, and revitalized the Mississippi Development Authority (MDA) by giving it the tools to make a difference in Mississippi's economy.

Three years later Mississippi has a lot to be proud of. Over 56,000 new jobs at over 2,200 new and expanded facilities have been created. Nissan opened the only auto plant in America this year here in Mississippi. Major expansions like Howard Computers in Laurel and Northrop Grumman on the coast have coupled with small businesses like Alcoa in Desoto County and Hol-Mac in Bay Springs to bring jobs and success to all parts of the state. Mississippi is now justly recognized as a business-friendly state, but we must not rest on our reputation.

"I'm proud to say that we're moving in the right direction, but I'm not going to stop there, its time to take the next step," Governor Musgrove stated. "Priority: Mississippi is the next step to ensure that we maintain our position as an economic development leader and that we continue to grow jobs and businesses throughout our great state," Musgrove continued.

Outside pressures such as NAFTA and GATT, coupled with the national recession, make it necessary to continue working to ensure that Mississippi has a bold pro-business economic development package. Priority: Mississippi will not only build upon our successes of the past four years, but is innovative and new enough to deal with the ever-changing economy.

Governor Musgrove's Priority: Mississippi will focus on:

Building Upon our Past Job-Creation Success: Advantage Mississippi made our state a friendlier place for business and economic growth. Priority: Mississippi will provide even more incentives and proposals to grow our economy, such as providing additional tax incentives to businesses that create good, high-paying jobs and fully funding the ACE Fund.

Priority: Mississippi will:
ü Provide a 20 percent tax credit for any business that creates at least 15 new jobs in a distressed county within three years. The credit would rise to 25 percent for more than 140 new jobs and to 30 percent if the number of new jobs exceeds 260
ü Double the headquarters tax credit, which currently provides a $500 credit per job for companies that locate their headquarters in Mississippi
ü Double the $500 tax credit for jobs in research & development
ü Expand the Job Creation Tax Rebate
ü Expand the Small Municipalities program to include medium-sized cities. This grant program currently assists small rural towns with basic infrastructure for economic development
ü Fully fund Mississippi ACE, which is used to make grants to local economic development entities to assist any new or expanding business
ü Ensure results and accountability for businesses receiving incentives

· Continuing to Encourage Small Businesses Growth: Mississippi ranks high in the survival rate of its small businesses. When businesses start in Mississippi, they succeed. By doing everything we can to help encourage more new small businesses in Mississippi, we will be able to create more jobs and keep more capital in state.

Priority: Mississippi will:
ü Expand the Mississippi Incubator Program
ü Streamline processing and cut red tape
ü Expand technology clusters to meet the needs of the changing economy
ü Meet the needs of the New Economy by creating a Mississippi Technology Transfer Fund that will encourage the expansion of companies in high-growth sectors of business

· Focusing on Rural Development: We cannot afford to leave any sector or region of the state behind. That is why Governor Musgrove will continue to focus on rural development to ensure that areas particularly hard hit by the downturn in the economy flourish.

Priority: Mississippi will:
ü Promote value added agriculture
ü Encourage sustainable aquaculture
ü Repeal the death tax to help protect our family farms and small businesses

· Workforce Development to Attract Business: Governor Musgrove will continue to provide leadership to create the kind of workforce we need. Now more than ever we need to build on the foundation of Advantage Mississippi Initiative to attract the truly high-paying and growth-potential industries of the future, and Priority: Mississippi does just that. The number one factor in attracting such industries is the quality of the workforce. As Governor, Musgrove has worked to improve K-12 education as well as strengthening the connection between basic education, vocational training, higher education and the workplace.

And

Using Our Institutions of Higher Learning and Centers of Excellence and Creativity: Mississippi's colleges and universities provide our future workforce and are the key to the success of our changing economy. We have four research-focused institutions that can recruit the brightest minds in the country to assist with high technology development. And we must continue to expand the use of our community and junior colleges in workforce training.

Priority: Mississippi will:
ü Encourage regional small business training alliances
ü Make college tuition more affordable by making it tax deductible

Governor Musgrove stated: "These pro-business initiatives present real solutions to the complex challenges posed by the new global marketplace. As Governor, I'll continue to work tirelessly to encourage our existing businesses to expand and to attract new businesses to our state. I won't rest until everyone in Mississippi who wants a good paying job has one."

In addition to this proposal for his second term, Governor Musgrove highlighted just a few of the economic accomplishments of his first term:

· Capital investment in the state for the 2,200 new and expanded facilities during the past 3 years totals nearly $15 billion.

· Governor Musgrove and Governor Riley reached across state and party lines to establish an interstate agreement focused on job creation along the border between the two states.

· The state was listed by Site Selection magazine last year as one of the top ten states for new and expanded facilities.

· In September 2001, the state was named one of the top ten states for small business survival.

* The January 2003 issue of Expansion Management magazine ranked four Mississippi cities among the 50 hottest cities for expansion in the nation.

Previous Comments

ID
136173
Comment

in an effort to be fair, the following is taken from http://www.haleybarbour.com/Development.htm "Economic Development Since January 2000, Mississippi has lost a higher percentage of our manufacturing jobs than any other state in the entire nation. The Mississippi Manufacturers Association reports 170 plants closed in our state in the last 18 months. Weíve never had as many as 100 plants close in a single year, not even in the depths of the Depression. Mississippi must enact real reform to our civil justice laws to end lawsuit abuse, boost our workforce training system, and eliminate unnecessary government regulations. We must redouble our efforts to expand the businesses and industries we already have. As Governor, I will use my personal relationships with national political and business leaders to bring new jobs to our state and to find new markets for our products. There is no substitute for CEO to CEO communication in economic development efforts. Economic development and job creation are team efforts, not a one-man show. The State must work closely with local business, education, community and government leaders to maximize the effectiveness of our economic development efforts. A local leader often can be the best salesman to attract new employers. Indeed, existing businesses will create most of the new jobs in any area."

Author
Fielding
Date
2003-10-07T16:15:55-06:00
ID
136174
Comment

Fielding, do you really think that Mississippi has lost jobs simply because Musgrove instead of Barbour has been governor? I realize that is what Barbour wants us to believe, but jobs are being lost throughout the country, as we well know. The national economy is a mess, and "tort reform" isn't going to cure it. And, yes, NAFTA has cost this state manufacturing jobs, and should be a black mark on the record of anyone who helped push it through -- from Barbour to Clinton. By the way, I'd post some of Barbour's releases as well if they'd send them to me, as many others including Pickering, Lott, etc., do. I've asked to be on their list.

Author
ladd
Date
2003-10-07T16:31:02-06:00
ID
136175
Comment

You know, I really wish that politicians and their staff members would learn how to write, and to quite trying to bamboozle the voters. For instance: "The MMA reports 170 plants closed in our state in the last 18 months. We've never had as many as 100 plants close in a single year, not even int he depths of the depression." Question: Have we had 100 plants close in a single year? It's 170 in 18 months - which may or may not be 100 in a single year. My guess is that what they are saying is that we are on track to lose more than 100 plants this year, but it's not clear. I *hate* it when people muck around with numbers like this. It's sloppy, at the very least. And as to the Depression reference: well, duh. There are (I can only assume) many more manufacturing plants in MS now than there were during the depression. For that kind of comparison, let's look at percentages. That would be a *meaningful* comparison, instead of a scare tactic. And yes, the Dems pull this crap too. I'll try to find time to read Ronnie's plan, and mock it, too, in the spirit of equal opportunity mockery. But his is longer, and random statistics presented in bizarre ways did not jump out in the very first paragraph.

Author
Kate
Date
2003-10-07T16:40:21-06:00
ID
136176
Comment

Donna wrote: Fielding, do you really think that Mississippi has lost jobs simply because Musgrove instead of Barbour has been governor? I'll provide a follow-up question, if you don't mind me barging in here. What would Mike Parker have done differently if he were governor? I didn't think Parker and Musgrove had many differences during the '99 campaign (and in fact I voted for Parker).

Author
Ex
Date
2003-10-07T16:41:58-06:00
ID
136177
Comment

Mock away, Kate. And, Ex, you can barge in any time. When all y'all post more, I post less, and that's good for us all. ;-D Good Parker question, by the way ...

Author
ladd
Date
2003-10-07T16:57:03-06:00
ID
136178
Comment

Part of the reason MS has lost so many more jobs than other states is because a disproportionate part of its economic base is in the service and factory industries. Other states have lost fewer jobs because they support other industries. MS has marketed itself--through tax incentives to businesses and other inducements--as a cheap labor haven. An obvious problem with that is that when other states (or nations) provide even cheaper labor, the jobs leave. Add to that the economic woes of the recession and Iraw war costs and you've got a recipe for disaster for states whose economies rely too heavily on factory jobs.

Author
Nia
Date
2003-10-07T17:19:59-06:00
ID
136179
Comment

... and it doesn't help that we have a hard time keeping our smart young people, and putting them to work in good jobs. And we need more of their energy and passion to bring their creativity to bear and turn some things around here. It's a vicious cycle that benefits only a small number of people.

Author
ladd
Date
2003-10-07T17:25:08-06:00
ID
136180
Comment

Actually, it's not clear that we've lost jobs. The MMA says we've lost plants, but Musgrove says we've had a net growth in jobs over the last year. And, to your point Nia, the Mississippi Technology Alliance is trying to increase jobs and opportunities in high tech in the state (since high tech jobs tend to have higher wages). As part of that effort, they publish the Innovation Index, which has some great statistics on how Mississippi is doing in terms of education, job creation, entrepreneurship, etc. You can find it at http://www.innovationindex.ms/ I think it's an annual thing, so it will be fun to see how the graphs change over time.

Author
Kate
Date
2003-10-07T17:42:10-06:00
ID
136181
Comment

Kate wrote: Actually, it's not clear that we've lost jobs. The MMA says we've lost plants, but Musgrove says we've had a net growth in jobs over the last year. What types of jobs? How many of these new positions could be considered underemployed posts?

Author
Ex
Date
2003-10-07T18:56:44-06:00
ID
136182
Comment

I don't think it's necessarily underemployment, thought that is certainly one explanation. The MMA stat is focused solely on manufacturing. The increase in jobs could be more lawyers, more doctors, more gov't workers. Or it could be more fast food workers. I haven't seen any stats that talk about wages or growth sectors, so I have no clue.

Author
Kate
Date
2003-10-07T19:43:40-06:00
ID
136183
Comment

What's the MMA? I'm going to "out" myself here: I participated this past winter in a forum with MACE (MS Action for Community Education), Gov. Musgrove, Rep. Bennie Thompson, and numerous civic leaders from the Delta on workforce development in MS. A lot of really good ideas grew out of that forum. I haven't been in touch with Musgrove since then, but I have followed MACE's progress on the issue. The single most important issue voiced by participants was education. And many of the action items were reasonable, implementable ideas. MACE has continued to hold the forums. I hope they're as diligent about follow through as they are about continuing to discuss the problem. Check out the forum at http://www.unitingamerica.org/media/article_jan_26_2003.htm and at http://www.unitingamerica.org/dialogue/ndupcoming_tba_greenville.htm

Author
Nia
Date
2003-10-07T22:24:54-06:00
ID
136184
Comment

MMA is the Mississippi Manufacturer's Association. They provided the initial statistics in Barbour's statement (above). They've come out and endorsed him for governor, too.

Author
Kate
Date
2003-10-08T10:14:10-06:00
ID
136185
Comment

Is the seachange that seems to be happening in Jackson localized or is it happening all over MS? There was no community like the one JFP serves when I was growing up. Do you guys see a real trend here with more natives moving back with entrepreneurshop in mind?

Author
Nia
Date
2003-10-08T14:52:29-06:00
ID
136186
Comment

Donna, I will try to get those guys to send stuff to you - I have some contacts in that arena. MACE? Are ya'll still doing the Delta Blues Fest? I went before I left the state and it was GREAT! I agree that is a very good Parker question - but moot. I suppose we'll never know. MTA is a decent organization and focusing on various types industry clusters within the State - but it is frustrating that they don't consider shipbuilding as a cluster. And they relied too heavily on the telecom cluster centered around Jackson. There have always been entrepenuers in the state - but it has been very difficult for them to get support from the State - not a lot, even a little would be appreciated.

Author
Fielding
Date
2003-10-08T15:21:35-06:00
ID
136187
Comment

I don't work for MACE, but I'm pretty sure they still do the festival. MS actually has one of the highest rates of entrepreneurship in the country, but they are mostly mom-and-pop operations, which is not a putdown but merely a description indicating they probably don't employ large numbers of people.

Author
Nia
Date
2003-10-08T15:57:49-06:00
ID
136188
Comment

Nia, I don't know if it's a trend, but I've certainly met alot of people who have "come home." There is alot of opportunity here, and the most interesting part is that individuals really can have a noticeable impact. (Of course, like anywhere else, there's freaks and morons too - and I mean that in the nicest possible way.) But, as I can now say to my California co-workers - at least we don't have the "Governator" running the state.

Author
Kate
Date
2003-10-08T16:12:07-06:00
ID
136189
Comment

I didn't watch the news alst night before going to bed and nearly choked this morning when I saw the headline: "It's Gov. Schwartzeneger." Sorry for the aside.

Author
Nia
Date
2003-10-08T16:32:15-06:00

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