CDF seeks to lure natives back home

TUPELO – Lee County’s Community Development Foundation has begun its efforts to pull people back home to Northeast Mississippi.
The Tupelo-based organization recently launched a page on Facebook designed to lure those who once lived here to return to the region.
The move is part of an effort to boost the local workforce. The arrival of Toyota Motor Manufacturing Mississippi and its suppliers, and their general impact on the region, will place a demand the current workforce will not immediately be able to fill.
Employers will seek skills for which Northeast Mississippians hadn’t previously needed to be trained. They will need outsiders who have gained experiences that hadn’t been available here.
In an effort to provide those employees, CDF is trying to attract individuals who grew up here or who attended college in the region.
“Our hope is that people from this area who grew up here and really have an interest in seeing the positive efforts in this area will bring those skills and experiences they have gained back to their hometown and make a difference and help prosper their hometown,” said Jennie Bradford Curlee, director of corporate communications for CDF.
The Facebook page is the first step in that effort. Called “Tupelo Ties,” it seeks to form a community of people with an interest in the region. Curlee said the page will provide information about events in Tupelo and job opportunities.
“Our intent is to let people know there is a lot going on in this area, and it is a great place to raise a family and work,” she said.
CDF members and local employers will also visit cities that prove to have large concentrations of Northeast Mississippi expatriates. The organization will soon launch a website as part of its efforts.
The Facebook page states that its mission is to “attract, retain and develop the talent needed to support a vibrant Lee County.”

Chris Kieffer/NEMS Daily Journal

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