Chamber luncheon speaker recaps MDA’s efforts

AMORY – The Monroe County Chamber of Commerce welcomed its guest Jim McArthur, deputy director of the Mississippi Development Authority, to a luncheon March 13 at Riverbirch.
McArthur spent part of the day touring HomeStretch Furniture in Nettleton with one of the factory’s executives, Skipper Holliman.
“We don’t like being in Jackson. We love to be out there understanding our people’s concerns so we can improve the quality of life,” McArthur said.
The former director of business development for Yates Construction briefed a crowd of chamber members about efforts the MDA is working on statewide.
In 2012, the MDA helped retain 400 jobs and initiate 2,674 jobs in Mississippi.
“That to me is disappointing. Our goal is 500 jobs per month. By the end of February, we have reported 1,160 jobs announced so we’re on the right track this year,” McArthur said.
Recent industrial boosts across Mississippi came from the implementation of Rolls Royce at the Stennis Space Center on the Gulf Coast, Caterpillar in Corinth and Kimberly-Clark in Southaven.
“In talking with [Monroe County Chamber of Commerce executive director] Tony [Green], you’re in the great area as far as job creation and you should look forward to more jobs coming in,” McArthur said.
According to McArthur, figures from the past five years reveal that every dollar the MDA has contributed to its projects, which include tourism and business and industrial recruitment and retention, has come back to benefit the state ten-fold in revenue.
McArthur said strong workforce programs at Itawamba and Northeast Mississippi community colleges has been vital to local industry.

About Ray Van Dusen

I've been with the Monroe Journal since Aug. 2009 as a staff writer, but took the role as news editor in late 2012. I'm always looking for interesting story ideas from around Monroe County. You can reach me via email at ray.vandusen@journalinc.com.