Q: What do you mean by the region being a "state within a state?"
A: Culturally and ideologically, you're different from the rest of the state. ... this is an area growing compared to the rest of the state.
The primary determinant where people live is where they work. We're in a society where people are mobile and have more choices about where they live, and I think you're going to see more people choosing to live in areas like Northeast Mississippi.
A: Yes. When you have an economy that's more dependent on one particular sector, then you'll rise and fall with that sector.
And manufacturing is the sector most affected the last 20 years by globalization.
The other side of the sword is that globalization also offers opportunities to export things that we weren't able to before.
Globalization comes in stages. First, is the jobs going overseas. Second, the jobs start to change. Third, the jobs grow again.
I think we're seeing some of that in the furniture industry.
Q: How is Northeast Mississippi viewed by the rest of the state?
A: It is the model for the rest of the state. It's why you still see tour buses of people still coming to Tupelo and the area to see how things are done. They want to see how you did it.
So for the rest of the state, it's the model for economic development.