NASA's John C. Stennis Space Center has become the first site to earn certification in the new technology park category of the Project Ready Certified Site Program, an industrial site program formalized by Mississippi Power's economic development department earlier this year to attract new industries to Southeast Mississippi.
One of the fastest-growing trends in the site location business is the demand for "Project Ready" industrial sites. Companies move much faster today than in the past when making site location decisions. These companies want sites ready to go and relatively risk free. Stennis Space Center already has passed the qualifying steps to meet this growing demand.
"Since Hurricane Katrina, we have seen a 10 percent growth in our center's workforce in support of NASA, other government agencies, and private technology-based companies," Stennis Director Gene Goldman said. "We feel that our future is bright in south Mississippi, and we hope this certification will reassure those looking at our center."
The designation is important, Mississippi Power Economic Development Director Arnie Williams said. "Across the country, we're seeing that certified sites are a proven advantage to lure industry," Williams explained. "We have seen how certified sites have brought major projects to other communities, and how great an impact they have on the regional economy. We want Stennis Space Center to see its share of this kind of growth."
Mississippi Power has retained McCallum Sweeney Consulting (MSC), a site selection consulting firm based in Greenville, S.C., and Waggoner Engineering Inc., based in Jackson, Miss., to help implement its Project Ready initiative. The MSC team was responsible for ensuring Stennis Space Center met the site criteria needed to attract and accommodate technology-based agencies and companies.
Stennis will be formally recognized as a Project Ready Technology Park on Nov. 6. Following that announcement, work will begin with the Mississippi Development Authority and local economic development commissions to market Stennis Space Center with the new Project Ready Technology Park certification.
For information about Stennis Space Center, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/centers/stennis/
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