The industrial boom in the Golden Triangle happened because leaders in the Golden Triangle made it possible, according to Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves.
Speaking to a room full of business and industry leaders at East Mississippi Community College’s annual Golden Triangle Industry Appreciation Luncheon, Reeves said the area received no special favors in landing companies like PACCAR, Severstal and now Yokohama.
“The state doesn’t tell people where to locate. The success in the Golden Triangle doesn’t have anything to do with anyone in Jackson. It’s because of the people in this room,” said Reeves.
“The biggest challenge with businesses prospects is getting them to visit Mississippi once. Then they like what they see.”
Appropriately, it was PACCAR, one of the companies that helped start the trend of locating in the Golden Triangle back in 2008, which took the day’s highest award, earning the Director’s Award “for the highest level of recognition through workforce training, demonstrating management excellence with superior outcomes, continuing to improve and build upon outstanding results and excellent systems and deploying world-class processes.”
EMCC Vice President for Workforce Services Dr. Raj Shaunak was also assisted by Reeves in handing out the Best Practices Award to Baptist Memorial Hospital-Golden Triangle and Special Recognitions to the Lowndes County Board of Supervisors, Sen. Terry Brown and retired EMCC Director of Workforce Services and Industrial Services Otis Taylor.
Taylor spent 13 years with EMCC Workforce after a career that took him to United Technologies and Mississippi University for Women.
“Otis is a very dedicated, honorable and customer-focused team player. He was always looking to improve EMCC and our standing in the
community,” said Shaunak.
Due to the hard work of companies like PACCAR and colleges like EMCC, Tate said Mississippi has the 14th best economic prospects in the country. But job training for high-tech jobs must continue to expand, he said, as evidenced by the fact that manufacturing has remained 18 percent of Mississippi’s gross domestic product for the past 25 years, but now employs half as many workers as 25 years ago.