At the Mississippi Economic Council’s annual meeting Thursday, Gov. Phil Bryant presented 10 headlines about the state’s economy that he would like to see.
Bryant credited legislative leaders House Speaker Philip Gunn and Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves, whom the governor said “went beyond the call to support the good business practices we need to help move Mississippi forward and have a transformational Mississippi.”
Bryant’s top 10 headlines are:
- Mississippi invests $50 million in workforce training and lowers unemployment taxes on businesses.
- The state will gain over 4,000 jobs and $1.5 billion in investment, referring to the announcement of a Continental Tire factory near Clinton.
- The No. 1 economic development project in the southeast and the fourth best economic-development project in the southeast, Topship.
- Mississippi unemployment dropping and northeast Mississippi (posts) lowest jobless rates in a decade. (Mississippi’s jobless rate of 6.3 percent as of March 2016 is down from March 2015 rate of 6.8 percent. The national unemployment rate is 5 percent, data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show.)
- Expanded charter schools: the Legislature passed a bill that would allow students to cross district lines to attend charter schools.
- In national education testing scores, Mississippi’s 4th graders led the nation in their advances.
- Mississippi high school graduation rates are rising, while the dropout rate declines. The Mississippi Department of Education recently announced a graduation rate for the 2014-2015 school year of 78.4 percent compared to 74.5 percent compared to the previous school year.
- Mississippi ends the practice of electing school superintendents.
- Mississippi wins the Frank Newman Award for Education Innovation from the Denver-based not-for-profit Education Commission of the States.
- Groundbreaking for the Winston Medical Center in Louisville. In 2014, tornadoes swept across the southeast, killing nine people in Winston County and damaging the town’s medical center.