CHOCTAW COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI)- For many rural areas in the state attracting new residents and jobs can be difficult .
However, despite a recent increase in unemployment numbers, Choctaw County is winning that battle.
The county is made up of three small cities Ackerman, Weir, and French Camp.
Regardless of its small size, the county employs more than three thousand people, including Amy Burdine.
“There’s a lot of employment opportunities here,” said Burdine who’s lived in Choctaw County all her life. “Both I and my husband work here in Choctaw County, and have for a long time.”
For many, seeing the county’s continuous growth comes as no surprise.
“We are the energy capital of the state, because there are no other counties in our state that have three power plants plus a lignite mine,” said Donna McKay, executive Director for the Choctaw County Chamber of Commerce.
All of which employs hundreds of people.
McKay said the county has several tools it uses to draw people to the area including its low tax rate and school system.
“Choctaw County School District ranks third highest for the third grade reading level in the state, and our elementary schools are consistently ranked top in the state,” said McKay.
It’s hospital and health care system is one the biggest employers.
The county sits between two major highways, which according to McKay, helps marketing to companies a little easier.
“There’s a lot of jobs being brought into the Golden Triangle Area, and so people can commute, can drive to Starkville, Columbus, if they need to, but they can live in Choctaw County,” McKay explained. “Get cheaper taxes, get a really good, have a really good score 15, you know, lower taxes, lower cost-of-living, that type thing.”
“The Great things that are here in Choctaw County, we have a wonderful school system here,” said Burdine. “We have employment opportunities, we have the coal mine, and the power plants, the hospital here, it’s just a great community atmosphere.”
Choctaw County also partners with Webster County to help recruit jobs to the region.