MEDC recognizes Mississippi State’s CAVS Extension for jobs reshoring initiative

Contact: Jim Laird

The Reshoring Advanced Manufacturing Jobs in Mississippi: Enhancing Skills and Building Competitiveness partnership team included (seated, l-r) Bill Martin, MSU Franklin Furniture Institute; Mitzi Woods, South Delta Planning and Development District; Clay Walden, MSU CAVS Extension; Jill Sellers, MSU CAVS Extension; Mary Ann Richardson, MSU CAVS Extension; Mary Swoope, Mississippi Economic Development Council; and Greg Word, Greater Jackson Chamber Partnership; and (standing, l-r) Steve Puryear, MSU CAVS Extension; Mickey Milligan, Mississippi Development Authority; James Williams, State Workforce Investment Board; Glenn Dennis, MSU CAVS Extension; Bill Renick, Three Rivers Planning and Development District; Joe Jordan InnovateMEP Mississippi; Raj Shaunak, East Mississippi Community College; Robert Sheely, MSU CAVS Extension; Brad Gates, Itawamba Community College; and Jay Tice, InnovateMEP Mississippi. (Submitted photo)

STARKVILLE, Miss.--Mississippi State’s Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems Extension is a major honoree of the Mississippi Economic Development Council.

The university’s Canton-based office recently accepted the Community Economic Development Award for its work to bring advanced manufacturing jobs back to America. The MEDC recognition specifically cited the “Reshoring Advanced Manufacturing Jobs in Mississippi: Enhancing Skills and Building Competitiveness” program.

The program is an example of MSU’s commitment to effective service and outreach, said Clay Walden, CAVS Extension director and a research professor at the land-grant institution.

“CAVS Extension and the university as a whole are actively engaged in the lives of Mississippians,” he said. “The reshoring initiative had a nearly $11-million economic impact, and it demonstrates the meaningful assistance we provide and the partnerships we’ve developed with employers and other stakeholders across all 82 counties in the state.”

During the three-year effort, the project team worked with Mississippi manufacturers to reshore jobs back to the U.S. from other countries and to prevent any additional offshoring.

More than 33 direct investment opportunities were identified, and 333 jobs were created or saved, according to Walden. Additionally, the program saw 262 industry certifications and 221 paid internships in high-demand advanced manufacturing skills.

Walden accepted the award at MEDC’s legislative conference in Jackson earlier this month. The project has been submitted to the Southern Economic Development Council for regional competition.

While CAVS Extension led the Reshoring Advanced Manufacturing Jobs in Mississippi program, Walden credited teamwork for its success.

“We couldn’t have done this without our many partners,” he said.

Those partners included Mississippi State’s Franklin Furniture Institute and National Strategic Planning and Analysis Research Center, as well as InnovateMEP Mississippi, the Reshoring Initiative, Mississippi Development Authority, South Delta Planning and Development District, Three Rivers Planning and Development District, and East Mississippi, Holmes, Itawamba and Mississippi Delta community colleges.

The program competed for initial funding through the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration’s Make It In America program, and also received additional support from the Delta Regional Authority, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment Training Administration, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership.

David Shaw, MSU’s vice president for research and economic development, said, “As the state’s economy grows and diversifies, our researchers and resources are playing greater roles in the diverse communities we serve.”

“Working to meet the needs of business and industry is a clearly defined priority of the university, and we’re proud of all the excellent work carried out by the CAVS Extension team,” he said.

CAVS Extension is a major component of the engagement and outreach services offered by MSU’s Bagley College of Engineering. For additional information, visit or contact Walden at or 601-407-2713.

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Tuesday, February 21, 2017 - 1:20 pm