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Brookhaven ‘is just a great place to live’

Local business leaders met with the Mississippi Economic Council Tuesday to discuss economic and workforce development.

City, county and state elected officials were in attendance for the hourlong meeting at Mitchell’s Special Events and Catering on Brookway Boulevard.

“We’re so glad to be in Brookhaven,” said Scott Waller, president of MEC. “Brookhaven has made tremendous improvements over the years. This is a community that you want to live in.”

During the presentation, Waller asked the audience questions on what they rank as of the most importance for future economic success.

Questions were asked about Mississippi’s strengths and weaknesses, and how businesses can overcome the economic challenges they face. 

Several key points were economic development, transportation infrastructure, healthy lifestyles and workforce development.

“We’re all very dependent on having a strong medical community to help us, because it really matters in so many facets in our lives. Our overall quality of life is impacted by it,” Waller said. “It’s very important to have a healthy lifestyle in the workforce.”

Doug Henley of Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi congratulated Brookhaven Mayor Joe Cox for the years that he has put in to make Brookhaven one of the healthiest hometown’s in the state.

Near the end of the meeting, Waller asked Bill Sones, CEO of Bank of Brookhaven and Kenny Goza, program coordinator at Copiah-Lincoln Community College, to talk about the area.

“This is just a great place to live,” Sones said. “I always said if I worked in Jackson, I’d still live in Brookhaven. It would sure be worth the hour drive, to be able to live here and enjoy the lifestyle that we have.”

Sones continued to praise local businesses, schools and churches for making Brookhaven what it is today.

“I’m so proud of our downtown area. It’s been such a long effort to see what’s happened,” said Sones.

Goza addressed the future of workforce development in the community and throughout the state.

“It’s not what MEC’s doing. It’s not what Bill is doing, or what I’m doing. It’s, ‘What are we doing to not just sell Brookhaven and Lincoln County, but this region?’” said Goza. “Until we get that regional mindset to attract big or small industries, we’re not going to be as successful.”