Division of Media Relations
Alcorn State University
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Friday, February 1, 2013
Alcorn State, Miss. (February 1, 2013) – Alcorn State University is working with Natchez Inc., a partnership expected to produce more than 20 creative jobs in Southwest Mississippi.
Using a $10,000 Mississippi Development Authority Creative Economy Grant, Alcorn and Natchez Inc. will partner with several businesses, nonprofits and government agencies in the region of Adams, Amite, Claiborne, Franklin, Jefferson and Wilkinson counties. The group will support existing small business efforts while promoting new initiatives.
Community engagement and economic development is a priority at Alcorn.
“Educating business owners and igniting the entrepreneurial spirit in our region matters,” says Executive Vice President and Provost Samuel L. White as he expounded on the dedication of Alcorn’s outreach efforts.
Working through its Entrepreneur Academy, Alcorn will teach artisans and crafters skills needed to run their own businesses. The project will also assess Southwest Mississippi’s creative capacity.
“Providing training, professional development or additional resources for arts, cultural, or creative entrepreneurs build economic and social capital,” says President M. Christopher Brown II. “The success of Alcorn’s Entrepreneur Academy graduates in 2012 clearly demonstrates economic vitality.”
This is not the first time Alcorn has partnered with Natchez Inc. and the Mississippi Development Authority. In 2012, the trio developed the Entrepreneur Academy at Alcorn’s Technology Incubator in Natchez. The training course produced 29 graduates and 11 businesses, reflecting numerous creative outlets: pottery, landscaping, catering, photography, interior and clothing design, food retail, event planning, jewelry design and painting.
For this year’s project, Alcorn, Natchez Inc. and MDA will work with several organizations that have committed to using this grant to create jobs in the region. They include: Mississippi Broadband Education Initiative, Mississippi Arts Council, Small Business Administration, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Mississippi Export Assistance Center, Natchez NOW, Callon Petroleum, Innovate Mississippi, and local professionals.
Assistant Vice President for Educational and Community Partnerships Dr. Ruth Nichols explains how she works to assure that not only Southwest Mississippi, but also the entire state is aware of available Alcorn resources to advance the economic prosperity of their communities.
“Alcorn provides its partners with necessary resources to assist with unmet community needs,” Nichols said. “Making a difference in the lives of citizens highlights Alcorn’s commitment to communities and is a key part of our educational and community partnerships mission.”
Alcorn State University is a premier comprehensive land-grant university that develops diverse students into globally-competitive leaders, and applies scientific research through collaborative partnerships that benefit the surrounding communities, state, nation, and world.