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May 22, 2017
Walley Selected to Attend Prestigious Janus Forum

MSED student, Stefany Walley, was competitively selected to attend the Janus Institute Forum. The Janus Institute was established to assist economic development professionals and the communities they serve advance through peer learning and educational opportunities. 

The 2017 Janus Forum was held May 7-10 at Chota Falls in Rabun County, Georgia, with the focus topics being regionalism and workforce. Guest speakers included: Dr. Jim Spohrer from IBM whom discussed Technology and Economic Development, including technology jobs in rural areas;  site location consultants Will Hearn of CBRE and John Sisson of Next Move Group discussed key issues and trends in business location and economic development; Carl Warren of CSX and Colby Tanner of BNSF discussed trends in rail transportation, site selection and economic development, and how communities can work more closely with railroads.

Stefany is from Columbia, MS, and has an undergraduate degree in marketing and international business from USM.  She worked for Entergy as the Entergy Scholar this past year while in the MSED program and will be completing her internship with the Mississippi Polymers Institute this summer. 
Site Location Consultant at True South Reaps Benefits

In 2015, the   Area Development Partnership  of Hattiesburg and The University of Southern Mississippi hosted site location consultant Will Hearn, Senior VP of CBRE , to be the key note speaker at the   True South Basic Economic Development Course . CBRE is the world's largest commercial real estate services firm serving owners, investors and occupiers. During that visit Hearn became familiar with the Hattiesburg community. Regions Bank hired CBRE to recommend locations in the Southeast for expansion of its back-office operation Center. Thanks to Will Hearn's prior visit, Hattiesburg was well positioned for the site selection competition. 

The result will be a $23M, 75,000-square foot operations center in Hattiesburg that will consolidate locations and add 90 jobs.  The new location on the west side of Hattiesburg will house the Regions Mortgage unit, which services residential mortgages across the Southeast, Texas, and the Midwest.  

The 2017 True South Economic Development Course i s September 11 -14th at The University of Southern Mississippi Trent Lott National Center.
Mobile Apps Helping Boost Tourism Related Economic Development

Mobile technology and applications have transformed the way we go about our day. The tourism industry is using this new trend to transform the way we travel and vacation. According to a recent survey by eMarketer, travel-based mobile apps are the seventh most-downloaded application category. Mobile travel applications are convenient and can be linked to geo location enabled services like Google maps ( Sapra, 2016). 

As an example of using mobile applications to promote tourism, have you taken a trip to the Mississippi Gulf Coast recently and noticed the shrimp signs? The shrimp signs are part of a tourism initiate to help visitors find local attractions. Each shrimp sign has a number that coincides with a location. Visit Mississippi Gulf Coast is using the shrimp signs in its new free travel application, My Gulf Coast. The My Gulf Coast application is a way-finding app that uses geomapping to help users locate attractions, restaurants, shopping and other points of interest along Mississippi Highway 90. These user-friendly new applications are becoming more common and can help travelers navigate a region to make the most of their trip. 
Southern Miss Economic Development | tasha.may@usm.edu | 118 College Drive #5191
Hattiesburg, MS 39401-0001