Gulfport, Miss. – Mississippi Power’s Economic Development department is certifying nine industrial sites across the company’s 23-county service territory as Project ReadyTM.
The Project Ready program identifies sites with industrial-quality capacity for water, sewer, natural gas and electrical infrastructure to meet the stringent demands of industrial customers.
“Decision timelines for companies looking to expand or relocate continue to get shorter,” Mississippi Power Economic Development Director Brian Useforge said. “Site certification helps prepare the communities we partner with on economic development projects to respond to the rapid requests that site location consultants and business owners are now making.”
Mississippi Power’s Economic Development department retained Goldsmith Strategy to set standards for infrastructure and site due diligence to better align these locations with current site selection trends.
“The Project Ready designation will allow the communities we serve to showcase these properties as ‘shovel-ready’ sites,” Mississippi Power President and CEO Anthony L. Wilson said. “This designation will drive interest in south Mississippi and position the region to attract more jobs and create a better quality of life for us all.”
Site certification means the location has gone through a rigorous pre-qualification process. The land owners, price, infrastructure and site characteristics are all clearly identified at a certified site.
Nine locations in six southeast Mississippi counties – George, Harrison, Jackson, Jones, Lauderdale and Marion – are being recognized as Project Ready.
“The local economic development organizations we team up with made significant investments to meet all of the certification requirements,” Useforge said. “Having available sites ready for market is a necessity today, and our partners have shown a total commitment to staying competitive.”
Learn more about Mississippi Power’s Economic Development department and Project Ready by clicking here.
Mississippi Power’s Economic Development department was recognized in Site Selection’s annual Top Utilities in North America for Economic Development list in the Honorable Mention category in 2015 and 2016. The group was also recognized by Southern Business and Development magazine as one of the best utilities in Economic Development in the Mid-South for 2016.
Mississippi Power Project Ready – What They Are Saying:
Ken Flanagan – George County Community Development Director
“The name ‘Project Ready’ says it all. We now have both a 350-acre and a 75-acre location ready for an industrial project development. These sites have the power, passage, and most importantly, the partnerships needed for any size project. The certifications were earned through a real team effort with the County, Mississippi Power, and Mississippi Export Railroad. All of our utility partners contributed substantially to George County being awarded two Project Ready certifications.”
Jerry Frazier – Marion County Development Partnership President
“Site certification is one of the most important marketing tools for economic development and can help create a competitive advantage to leverage job creation and capital investment. Marion County Development Partnership can now offer this competitive edge for companies that need to locate quickly.”
George Freeland – Jackson County Economic Development Foundation Executive Director
“The Jackson County Economic Development Foundation is pleased to receive Project Ready Certification on three sites and knows that our participation in the program raises our competitive edge. We appreciate the support of our well-established public-private economic development partnership in helping make our sites shovel-ready. Jackson County continues to be well-equipped to compete in the global market place and completing these certifications will reinforce that message.”
Ross Tucker – Jones County Economic Development Authority President
“By receiving the Project Ready certification, Jones County is taking great strides in accelerating its economic growth. The Economic Development Authority appreciates the partnership of Mississippi Power, Dixie Electric and Cooperative Energy to complete the steps necessary in obtaining this certification. Jones County has prepared the premier site of the Pine Belt for Mississippi’s next prospect.”
Clay Williams – Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport Executive Director
“Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport is pleased to have a Project Ready certified site adjacent to its airfield and centrally located along the aerospace corridor, making it an advantageous location for potential aerospace and aviation related developments.”
Mississippi Power, a subsidiary of Southern Company (NYSE: SO), produces safe, reliable and environmentally responsible energy for more than 186,000 customers in 23 southeast Mississippi counties. Mississippi Power earned the 2015 ReliabilityOneTM Award for outstanding midsize utility for excellence in storm restoration and recovery efforts as well as being a leader in reliability, customer service and safety. Visit our websites at mississippipower.com, mississippipowerED.com and mississippipowernews.com, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and YouTube.