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9/30/2019 - Jackson, Miss.

According to the Mississippi Development Authority, Mississippi ranks in the top five in advanced manufacturing.

This is not surprising, considering the state has several key attributes that make the state attractive to advanced manufacturers and their site selectors. Some of Mississippi's competitive advantages include having the third lowest union membership ratio in the nation, earning a top five ranking for speed of permitting, and have a top five ranking for competitive utility rates.

However, all these advantages would fall by the wayside without a strong workforce to support them. Mississippi Public Universities are preparing students to enter Mississippi's Advanced Manufacturing workforce.

Through the University of Mississippi's Center for Manufacturing Excellence (CME), students gain the professional skills involved in successful manufacturing along with an understanding of accounting, communication, human resources, leadership, management, and marketing. The CME is closely tied to the manufacturing industry through its advisory board including executives from Toyota and GE Aviation.

Mississippi State University's Swalm School of Chemical Engineering offers an undergraduate degree in chemical engineering, a world that deals with the chemical and physical processes used to develop and make products. Students who enroll in this program usually have a strong interest in applying chemistry and math to make processes and products to improve all aspects of human life. Without question, chemical engineers are making major contributions to the technological infrastructure of modern society through careers in industries such as chemicals, oil and gas, alternative energy, environment, food, biomedicine and pharmaceuticals, electronics, materials, and pulp and paper. Master's and doctoral degrees are also offered.

Mississippi State University's student-led teams are consistent winners in the Department of Energy's Advanced Vehicle Technology Competitions. MSU teams specialize in modeling some of the most advanced vehicle powertrains on the planet. This kind of experience as students enables them to contribute on day one on the job at an advanced manufacturing plant.

Engineers play a vital role in any advanced manufacturing plant, regardless of the product being made. U.S. News & World Report ranks Mississippi State University's Bagley College of Engineering in the nation's Top 50 for Best Online Graduate Engineering Programs.

Forestry and forest products contribute $12.79 billion to the state economy and employ nearly 70,000 Mississippians with an annual payroll of $3.08 billion. The Department of Sustainable Bioproducts at Mississippi State University prepares students for careers in advanced manufacturing of wood products including solid wood products, pulp and paper, and wood furniture. Graduates have abundant employment opportunities throughout the state with an average annual wage of $47,764. There is 100 percent placement for students graduating with a degree in sustainable bioproducts.

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The Mississippi Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning governs the public universities in Mississippi, including Alcorn State University; Delta State University; Jackson State University; Mississippi State University including the Mississippi State University Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine; Mississippi University for Women; Mississippi Valley State University; the University of Mississippi including the University of Mississippi Medical Center; and the University of Southern Mississippi.

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