Video: A Three County Economic Enterprise
ACKERMAN, Miss.(WCBI) — We know of successes achieved by the Economic Link, an economic driver in Columbus, Starkville, and West Point and their surrounding counties. Another three county region is hoping to capitalize on their combined efforts. A new executive director is working with economic leaders in Choctaw, Webster, and Montgomery Counties.
No longer are the rural counties of Choctaw, Webster, and Montgomery working as a separate entity. Leaders of this North Mississippi region are merging and sharing resources and availible workforce. A new director is ready and eagerly spells out their short term goals.
“We’re going to go through and we are going to assess our available sites and properties that we have available right now. We’re going to look at ways that we can better market what we have available. We’re going to immediately focus on entreprenual development. And as well as business retention and expansion. And so we want to make sure that we keep every job that we have here,” said Lara Bowman/Executive Director-The Enterprise.
Long term goals include helping with business startups, and then seeking industries to occupy available empty sites, using a ready workforce. Although Bowman expects to be mobile throughout the three county region, a central office in Webster County is her base of operation.
“I’m going to be located at the Depot in Eupora. We are working on getting that office set up. So I’ve been on the job about 6 weeks so far so we’re gonna get that set up here this next month,” said Lara Bowman.
“We’re three rural counties; Choctaw, Montgomery, and Webster. We’re all trying to do the same thing with our economic development. And we were not doing it as effectively as we could. By pooling together our resources with funds and what we have to offer,” said Chris McIntire/Choctaw County Supervisor.
With the combined unity of the counties and the economic strategy employed by these economic leaders, the region is poised for what could be the latest rural economic growth component in the state.
“Based off our location with Hwy 82, Interstate 55, The Railroad now coming down through Montgomery County down to Canton. Logistically we are setting in a place that we can grow and hopefully we can supply these major industries,” said Lara Bowman.
The Enterprise is governed by a six member board of trustees appointed by the board of supervisors.