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BY MARY GARRISON
Mississippi is on the move according to representatives of the Mississippi Economic Council (MEC). The group appeared before the West Point Rotary Club Thursday at the Ritz Theater during the clubâ€™s weekly meeting to discuss the challenges ahead in terms of economic development, education and infrastructure, as well as gain business and community leadersâ€™ input as part of its annual Blueprint Mississippi campaign.
The campaign, developed by business leaders in 2004, began as an extensive one-year, $1.25 million research project focusing on 12 Blueprint states â€” Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas. The report looks at how Mississippi compares with the Blueprint States and how the state can better position itself for progress. The initiative was updated in 2011 and continues research and awareness efforts, such as visiting communities across the state to collect information to present to the legislature. Itâ€™s an important outreach, according to MEC President Blake Wilson.
â€śWe wanted to develop a plan that would transcend political terms,â€ť Wilson said. â€śItâ€™s an evolving process â€¦ We have to be faster, smarter and better in Mississippi. â€¦ We count on responses and input to keep the ball rolling.â€ť
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