Insights > With a Growing National Economy, Mississippi and the Delta have Opportunities

With a Growing National Economy, Mississippi and the Delta have Opportunities


Mississippi’s Delta has a storied history of music, food and southern hospitality, but it has also served as a backbone for successful businesses for generations. But there is room for growth. Entergy Mississippi is committed to building the region’s economy and creating a compelling environment where both businesses and residents want to locate.

A critical marker for business growth in the Delta is the talent pipeline. As the United States approaches full employment, companies looking for talent are challenged to find an educated, trained workforce to meet their specific needs. However, Mississippi is poised to meet that challenge. Communities and educators across Mississippi are intently focused on workforce training. This commitment to develop talent is a crucial element to expanding economic vitality and meeting the needs of Entergy’s business clients.

The Delta is fortunate to have educators and economic developers working hand-in-hand to create a robust talent pipeline. Today, more than 14,000 ACT National Career Readiness Certificates (NCRC) have been awarded in the 18 Delta communities and there are more than 400 Delta businesses supporting the ACT initiative. The ACT NCRC is a portable, evidence-based credential that certifies the essential skills for workplace success – vital in attracting new business. In addition, thanks to a strong existing industry base, there are more than 11,000 employees working in advanced industries such as pharmaceutical manufacturing, engineering-related services, electrical manufacturing and motor vehicle parts manufacturing. Numbers like these go a long way in helping Entergy Mississippi market the region’s Qualified Sites at the Rosedale Industrial Park and the Tunica Mega Site.

But in recruiting new business, we must not forget about the existing industries that have supported thousands of employees over the decades – Baxter International and Mars Food North America. Baxter's Cleveland facility is the company's longest-operating manufacturing site in the nation, starting initial operations in 1949, and now employing more than 600 local residents. This site has kept pace with the outstanding growth in medical device development and is the reason behind the region’s strength in the pharmaceutical cluster. Building on the Delta’s agricultural assets, Mars Foods opened its Greenville plant in 1978 with five packaging lines and one processing line. Today, the facility has grown to 250,000 square feet on 110 acres and recently expanded its research and development operation, investing $31 million to support the company's global manufacturing operation.

Often, discussion about the Delta focuses on what the region doesn’t have. But with a growing national economy, Mississippi and the Delta have the opportunity to navigate the changing global market, find solutions to increase competitiveness and provide the tools for businesses and residents to prosper. Entergy Mississippi is an advocate and an asset to the Delta communities. We want to see a new day for the Delta, one with blossoming downtowns, a stable of existing industries that continue to expand, new businesses growing and classrooms filled with innovative thinkers – and Entergy Mississippi will be there to power it all and provide the support needed to make it a reality.

Ed Gardner
Director, Business & Economic Development, Entergy Mississippi