Sponsored by The Trent Lott National Center for Excellence in Economic Development and Entrepreneurship
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August 9, 2016
National Security Technology Acceleration and Economic Diversification Efforts for the State of Mississippi
The University of Southern Mississippi has received a $3m grant from the United States Department of Defense (DoD) Office of Economic Adjustment to develop three national pilot programs to help local communities adapt to DoD program changes, expansions and cutbacks, as well as incompatibilities between military operations and local development.  The three new programs will be developed in Mississippi to support economic diversification and national security technology acceleration.  The College of Business will work closely over the next two years with the Vice President for Research Technology Transfer and Corporate Relations, the Mississippi Enterprise for Technology, the Trent Lott National Center, and numerous state and local partners involved with the defense industry in Mississippi. View the Southern Miss Now article.
South MS Military Corridor Hosted by USM
The University of Southern Mississippi and Naval Air Command (NAVAIR) co-hosted a planning meeting for the South MS Military Corridor, whose members are seeking to strengthen the military presence in the region and promote economic development. The planning meeting included leaders from Camp Shelby, Gulfport Readiness Training Center, Mississippi Development Authority (MDA), Mississippi Power, Port of Gulfport, Theater Aviation Sustainment Maintenance Group, and local economic developers. The meeting included briefings from the various organizations and development of action steps to move the effort forward. The recent Port of Gulfport strategic port designation was identified as an opportunity to make the region a national focal point for foreign military sales. The group identified a need for an inventory of assets including workforce capabilities. MDA will be assisting the effort with branding and marketing. A joint summit is planned for the spring to bring military leaders, defense suppliers, and international military buyers to the Mississippi Gulf Coast to better understand the many opportunities for them for expanded business and operations in the region.
USM Has Expertise in Digital Marketing to Assist EDO's and CVBs
Dr. Sungsoo Kim, Assistant Professor of Tourism in the USM College of Business, was recently certified as a Hospitality Digital Marker (CHDM) and now has the expertise to develop a digital marketing strategy for a service company or organization. The certification demonstrates the expertise in maximizing online revenue through lead generation, customer engagement and loyalty, online brand awareness and product exposure for hotels. The CHDM certification is organized into three sections: Digital Marketing Impact; Digital Marketing Strategy and Tactics; and Analytical, Productivity and Management Tools. Topics covered include mobile marketing, online travel agencies (OTAs), public relations, search engine optimization (SEO), paid advertising, and social media, among others.  Since joining USM in 2014, Dr. Kim has completed several outreach projects for Mississippi communities including an economic impact study for the Mistletoe marketplace and feasibility studies for a convention center in Pike County and a hotel in Poplarville.  Organizations interested in an improved digital marketing strategy should contact   sungsoo.kim@usm.edu or the Trent Lott Center.  
Historic I.T. Montgomery House in Mound Bayou Feasibility Study
MSED student, Daniel Cook, completed his capstone project requirement by conducting a feasibility analysis for the Mississippi Heritage Trust.  He conducted a study to determine whether the 1910 I.T. Montgomery House in Mound Bayou, MS could successfully function as a bed and breakfast.  It was the home of Isaiah Thornton Montgomery (1847- 1924) a former slave, who founded Mound Bayou in 1887. The building is a National Historic Landmark in the historically significant former slave community in the Mississippi Delta. His analysis showed that should the International Order of Twelve Knights and Daughters of Tabor decide to pursue the development of a B&B, there appears to be enough demand to maintain the business. At an average occupancy rate of 68% a new B&B appears to be an economically viable option. The fact that there is a projected need for an additional 103 rooms in the area, within the next five years, also helps show the projects' economic viability. Daniel is completing his internship with FloridaWest Economic Development Alliance which is the economic development organization for the City of Pensacola and Escambia County in Northwest Florida. To view the full study click here.
Southern Miss Economic Development | tasha.may@usm.edu | 118 College Drive #5191
Hattiesburg, MS 39401-0001