Development training focus Wed. meeting

Published 6:00 am Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Industrial recruitment has slowed considerably during theeconomic recession, but Southwest Mississippi’s economicdevelopment leaders are keeping their handlers sharp.

Southwest Mississippi Partnership President Cliff Brumfield onMonday invited Lincoln County supervisors to the SouthwestMississippi Economic Development Industrial Recruitment Trainingseminar, which will be held Wednesday at Entergy’s Jacksonheadquarters. The seminar aims to train elected and communityleaders on how to escort industrial captains when they visitpotential sites for expansion.

“We don’t want to be like the dog that finally caught the carand didn’t know what to do with it,” Brumfield said. “We know whatto do with it. We’ve made some great progress, and we believe asthe economy improves that we will have more prospects.”

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District Four Supervisor Doug Moak plans to attend the seminar.Other supervisors are considering it.

Brumfield said the Partnership, an 11-county federation thatpools its resources to recruit industries as a region, is stressingthe training while prospect visits are few. He said largeindustries have not visited Southwest Mississippi in “quite sometime,” and since then many of the representatives on both sideshave changed. The last site selection visit to Linbrook BusinessPark in Brookhaven came in 2008, while the Partnership region waslooked at earlier in 2009, he said.

The timing is appropriate to train and retrain the siteselection chauffeurs, Brumfield said.

“All this work will culminate in the location of a new businessonly if, when they come to call, they’re handled as professionallyas possible,” he said.