HOUSTON – The Members of the Alliance Economic Development Team kicked off their 30-month campaign in Chickasaw County last Monday.

The team, which is comprised of multiple representatives of economic development organizations including: Ronnie L. Bryant and Victoria Nwasike of Ronnie L. Bryant LLC, Andrew Smith, of Local Government Solutions and Strategies and Dr. Albert Nylander and J.R. Love, of the University of Mississippi McLean Center for Public Service and Community Engagement.

All members of the Alliance were present for the kick off presentation that was given at the Houston Courthouse on Monday, Nov. 9.

In the presentation, they laid out their approach to economic development.

Bryant said that progress will be slow, but he said that is normal, no one can expect results overnight.

“This is an ocean liner, not a speed boat,” he said.

The steps that the team will take have already been set in motion, with a community assessment, next comes local resource assessment, incentive policies and programs, business recruitment and retention, land use policies and workforce development. These all serve to develop a strategic plan for the county's economic development.

Once the plan has been developed, the ongoing activities will include, coordinating economic development activities, providing advice and policy recommendations, marketing of Chickasaw County, expanding industrial opportunities, liaising between county and local businesses and developing relationships with other economic development organizations.

“Our methodology is to first develop a strategic plan, and then execute that plan, all over the next 30 months,” said Bryant.

Bryant also spoke about the desired outcome of the partnership as well.

“It changes the way people think about Chickasaw County, it increases the number of businesses in Chickasaw County and it increases the number of jobs in Chickasaw County.”

District 3 Supervisor and Board President Russell Brooks also shared his thoughts on the partnership between the county and the Alliance.

“This is a new beginning for Chickasaw County when it comes to economic development,” said Brooks. “I know in the last few years we've tried it twice, but this time we've gone out and we've found some professionals, you've heard their backgrounds, so this is not a fly-by-night group of people we've got here.”

He went on to encourage interdepartmental cooperation with the county offices and the Alliance.

“I want to encourage every department in this county to work with and not against this economic development team. I am saying that in an open meeting. If they ask you for some information, do your best to assist them in getting that information. The days of this county being divided are over. We are doing our best to move forward, to make Chickasaw County what Chickasaw County needs to be. We are planning on being a competitive county in Northeast Mississippi that people want to come live, work and play.”

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