The Trade Show Tuesday was an opportunity for Jackson County's industries to network. Over 100 local businesses of all sizes packed into the county fairgrounds to rub shoulders. Trudi Dixon, the Chair of the Industrial Trade Show, says, "We’ve been telling stories of the past that they make more contacts at this show then they do in six months trying to do business on their own." Jackson County ranked first nationally in construction job growth from 2012 to 2013, and networking events like this one connect the county's many industries. Brent Christensen, the Executive Director of the Mississippi Development Authority, says, “What you have here today at this Trade Show is a giant business family that wants to make they’re keeping their dollars in the family.”
The yearly event gives small Jackson County businesses the exposure they need to grow. Sarah Shields with Industrial & Crane Services says, “This is our first year at the Trade Show and we thought this would be a great opportunity to meet other people in our industry and get our name out there.” Ted Muller with O.R.R. Safety says, "This is our second year here, so we saw a good return on our investment.” After seeing an increase in business last year, they look forward to coming back year after year. Muller also says, “We love seeing not only the other companies here, but also some of our customers too.” From big to small, local companies of all sizes are taking advantage of the opportunity to enhance their own business while supporting others.
Dana Williams of Ingalls Shipbuilding says, "Ingalls is out here today. We’ve actually brought our buyers to interact with local suppliers to see if their service or product could be a fit for Ingalls.” Christensen also says, "You have one of the largest industrial bases in Mississippi right here in Jackson County. They’re all participating and what that shows is a just a really strong, united front." The county's industrial sector has seen a $232 million increase in annual earnings over the last seven years, showing that everything needed for industrial trade can be found in Jackson County. From the success of Tuesday's Trade Show, officials say the industrial base of Jackson County has great promise for the rest of 2014.