Mississippi Power launches "Project Ready"
To make service territory more competitive in economic development

GULFPORT, Miss. - Feb. 29, 2008 - Mississippi Power’s economic development department, through its Economic Development Trust, announces the launch of Project Ready, an unprecedented industrial sites program, to attract new industries to Southeast Mississippi. This is the first time in company history that the department has launched a formal program to partner with communities in Mississippi Power’s service territory for the development of industrial sites. 

"This unique program represents what field of dreams is all about,” said John Atherton, vice president external affairs, Mississippi Power. “Our vision with this program is to take our existing partnerships with each of the communities we serve to a new level, and ultimately get southeast Mississippi development ready in an effort to lure new industries and better quality jobs to the area.”

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.” Recognizing this trend, Mississippi Power has established “Project Ready” with two primary objectives; one, to identify sites in each county that are appropriate for development; and two, improve the readiness of those sites already in the economic opportunity inventory in the region.

Ultimately, Mississippi Power intends to certify sites that have completed the process and all related due diligence as “Project Ready.” To help with this endeavor, 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. The MSC team will be responsible for providing the site criteria, preparing the request for information and conducting site visits. In the process, they will provide communities with feedback on site strengths and weaknesses, suggestions for site improvements and marketing recommendations.

“This initiative enhances the degree of community preparedness for accommodating businesses interested in opportunities to expand or relocate their facilities,” said Jeannette Goldsmith, principal, MSC. “Our firm is pleased to be a part of an aggressive economic development program that will provide communities the in-depth information and data they need to win over potential prospects.”

Certification means that the local economic development agency has done all the pre-work on their site. They understand ownership issues, engineering issues and any obstacles to development – and they have a plan for addressing them. Plus, they know what it will cost and how long it will take to bring infrastructure to the site.

“Across the country, we’re seeing that certified sites are a proven advantage to lure industry,” said Atherton. “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 Southeast Mississippi to see its share of this kind of growth.”

Mississippi Power has been active in industrial development since its founding with the goal of improving the quality of life in Southeast Mississippi through the location, expansion and retention of businesses.

The Mississippi Power Economic Development Trust was established by Mississippi Power in 1989 to work in partnership with the communities it serves in Southeast Mississippi utilizing various programs to attract additional industrial locations.


Media Contact: Cindy Duvall, Mississippi Power Corporate Communications, 228.865.5543 or 1.800.821.6383, cwduvall@southernco.com