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COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) — A number of recent national surveys have given Mississippi high marks for job growth and potential and business climate. But the state still remains behind in many education, job skills and health categories.

The state’s chamber of commerce — known as the Mississippi Economic Council — has kicked off a three-month statewide tour to implement a plan for taking advantage of the state’s assets and correcting some of its weaknesses.

Business leaders say the plan is the key to higher wages and, better health care and improved infrastructure during the next 10 years.

One key component is reliable energy and one of the state’s top energy executives says the Golden Triangle is home to some of the most promising alternatives.

We have an insatiable appetite for energy here in the United States so all sources need to be on the table and what KiOR is doing with their facility and their technology is taking cellulosic fiber and creating biofuel and I think that creates a great opportunity for long-term energy supply in the future,” said Haley Fisackerly, ECO of Entergy Mississippi.

The MEC kicked off its 19-city Pathway to Progress tour at the Columbus Rotary Club Tuesday.

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