Jackson County serves as one of the top growing industrial counties in the state, and Tuesday kicks off its 25th Annual Industrial Trade Show. The community comes together to give local suppliers exposure to the county's big industry names, like Ingalls, Chevron, and Mississippi Power. These companies will meet with local suppliers and small businesses, showing that any resource needed for local development, big and small, can be found in Jackson County. Mike Mangum of the Jackson County Board of Supervisors says, "Our mission is to let the businesses and industry of Jackson County know exactly what’s to offer from the suppliers and the service companies within Jackson County." Andy Voda, has worked for lok-ring gulf coast for several years, he says the trade show helps businesses like his get exposure they need to grow. Voda says, “We’re able to show our technology and our product and our local offering to so many people that it’s like 25 days of sales calls packed into one.”
Joan Branson, the Socio-economic Business Program Manager at Ingalls, says, "It’s a wonderful way for them to network and start building relationships.” As word gets around the business community about the benefits of participating in the trade show, the event continues to grow each year. Voda also says, "It has evolved now. If you don’t sign up for a booth after the Trade Show, you may not have one next year." Officials say the Trade Show wouldn't be possible without support from the community. Branson also says, “They’re bringing the very best out of every single person and it’s a wonderful way for our business community to get together, especially to celebrate 25 years.”
As an added bonus, suppliers will get the chance to go before panels composed of big industry names to pitch their products. The Trade Show will kick off Tuesday with a ribbon cutting at 9:00 a.m. with the Executive Director of the Mississippi Development Authority, Brett Christianson, as the keynote speaker.