The mission of the Mississippi Technology Alliance is to drive innovation and technology-based economic development for the State of Mississippi. We achieve our mission through assisting companies, manufacturers and communities, sharing Mississippi's good news and enhancing education for students and workers.
MTA works closely with partners from the public and private sectors to achieve our goals. Here are just a few stories of the successes MTA and our partners have achieved.
Mississippi Angel Network
Formed in 2005 by the Mississippi Technology Alliance, the Mississippi Angel Network has more than 50 members. The purpose of the Angel Network is to connect early-stage companies with investors and investment capital. More than 20 companies have given formal presentations to the network to date.
Manufacturing Extension Partnership of Mississippi
Recent client surveys show that the Manufacturing Extension Partnership of Mississippi (MEP.ms) achieved a maximum score of 100 on results when compared to the other 58 NIST-MEP Centers in the United States. MEP.ms clients were surveyed by an independend survey company and the clients reported tha the direct impacts of MEP.ms projects to their businesses totaled $20,051,636 in cost savings and new and retained sales (15 percent of the total sales impact is included to approximate the gross margin of the manufacturer).
Of particular note, the average client investment leverage ratio, which is the sum of new investment reported by clients (defined as investment in plant and equipment, information systems and software, workforce skills and practices and other areas) divided by the federal investment in MEP.ms was ranked first in the nation among 59 MEP Centers throughout the United States. This is the fourth quarter out of five that MEP.ms has ranked at the top in the nation in one of the two most important measurement criteria.
7th Annual Conference on High Technology
The Mississippi Technology Alliance partnered with the Mississippi Research Consortium to present the 7th Annual Conference on High Technology with keynote speaker Guy Kawasaki, author of The Art of the Start. The conference attracted more than 500 attendeeds from throughout Mississippi and surrounding states.
"People now understand that the real potential for growth and economic prosperity in today's global society centers around intellectual property and the ability to implement new and innovative technology solutions. MTA is providing the focus and resources we need here in Mississippi to realize our opportunities. The annual conference is a great way to bring everybody together to network and see what is happening right here in Mississippi."
Mississippi Technology Alliance Innovation Center
The Mississippi Technology Alliance Innovation Center is a business incubator for small technology companies located in the Mississippi e-Center at JSU. The Innovation Center provides office space and business support and assistance to 14 technology companies with more than 100 employees.
"Our experience at the MTAIC has helped us recover from our Katrina displacement and enabled our business in many ways -- a thousand thank yous to the entire MTA organization."
Global Security Systems
"Tenants are supportive of each other and enthusiastically work together to ensure the success of all. I could not imagine a better environment for a young, growing company.
Mississippi Innovation Index
MTA publishes the annual Innovation Index, a tool to measure the progress of innovation and technology in Mississippi. The Innovation Index measures wealth creation, statewide and university research capacity, business research and development, technology business development, industrial productivity, technology workforce development and investment capital.
Pointe Innovation Magazine
Celebrating five years in print, Pointe Innovation continues to share Mississippi's good news by covering Mississippi's unique place in the innovation and technology economy. Here is what some Pointe Innovation advertisers have to say about their experience with the magazine.
"I consider Pointe Innovation magazine to be one of the most professional business publications in our state. It has timely, well-written features and the graphic presentation is superb."
"Our organization advertises in this publication because it is widely read by our target clients and members who understand the value of technology in the delivery of services. We also think the magazine presents an excellent image in the business community."
Mississippi World Trade Center
"In order for advertising to be effective it has to reach the decision makers. Pointe Innovation has proven to be an excellent vehicle to do just that. The feature stories are timely and present the latest technological developments and relevant industry topics. Our presence is enhanced by our visibility in this quality publication. Pointe Innovation has proven itself to be a beneficial targeted advertising option for MDA."
Deputy Director, COO
Mississippi Development Authority
"Advertising in Pointe Innovation gives our company the opportunity to reach our target market. Pointe Innovation is one of Mississippi's best kept secrets. It's professional, informative and showcases Mississippi's best. It's time to tell the world what we already know ... Mississippi is a great place to live and work!"
Executive Vice President and CIO
The AmFed Companies
In 2002, the Natchez-Adams County Development Authority looked at opportunities to retrain displaced manufacturing workers for technology-intensive businesses, such as call centers.
The Mississippi Technology Alliance contacted NACDA about forming a technology council to facilitate community conversations about the needs and opportunities for technology businesses in the area. MTA provided an initial $3,000 grant to help with start-up costs. The Natchez-Adams County Technology Council was formed with the mission to establish a pre-employment training program to aid in locating a call center in the community. Pre-employment training can provide a company the screening necessary to find employees who are work-oriented, knowledgeable, and skilled. It also allows employees the opportunity to appraise the company and train for immediate placement in a new job.
The "Train to Gain" program was established and designed as a joint project of ALCOA, Alcorn State University, Copiah-Lincoln Community College, Entergy, the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning, the Mississippi Technology Alliance, the Natchez-Adams County Development Authority, the Natchez Convention Center, the Natchez Democrat and the local WIN Job Center.
The training classes began in 2004 with the initial to train 60 students in one year. To date, more than 950 students registered to receive training with over 500 students earning their certificates. More than 130 students have found jobs since enrolling in the program. Student evaluations have consistently given the program high marks for effectiveness and expressed appreciation for the opportunity to learn new skills.
The Train to Gain Program
Instructional services are provided by Co-Lin. Classes are offered twice a day three times a week and two nights a week at Co-Lin’s computer lab or the IHL Mobile Lab located in downtown Natchez. The Technology Committee designed the training program, and Co-Lin provided the teachers, materials and equipment, at no cost to NACDA or the students that are trained.
Students attending the program are provided a certificate of completion at the end of the program. No promise or guarantee of a job is given.
The program is comprised of four steps, each lasting six weeks.
- Step 1: Keyboarding/Introduction to Computers and Word Processing
- Step 2: Introduction to Spreadsheets (Lotus 1-2-3) and Internet Researching Skills
- Step 3: Advanced Computer Skills
- Step 4: Customer Service Skills
Expected Results of the Train to Gain Program:
Initially, our goal was to train 60 students in one year. To date, we have over 950 students registered in our database. Students aged 18 to 73 commute from as far as Jonesville, Louisiana and Port Gibson, Mississippi to attend classes.
The training has been recommended for beginners as well as experienced computer operators. Student evaluations have consistently rated the program “great experience” and “very helpful”. Some students have even commented that they wished that the training lasted “a little longer”. To enroll in the program, students complete an application at the WIN Job Center. The student information is entered into a database at the NACDA office. Students are called on a rotation, according to when they applied for the training.
"This has truly been a community project, with results exceeding our highest expectations. Had it not been for the Mississippi Technology Alliance’s Request for Proposal for grant funds, the project would not have been initiated."
Natchez-Adams County Development Authority
Community Development Director
Injection Molding Company turns to MEP.ms for ISO Training to Grow It's Automotive Customer Base
API is a custom plastic injection-molding company located in Jackson, Mississippi. In November 2003, the former owner, Mr. Darrell Hart repurchased the company. Currently, it employs 15 people. Although the main focus of production is plastics parts and components for the automotive industry, API has a wide variety of experience and success in many other plastics molding areas. Some of them include producing parts for home and garden appliances and tools, and major components for health care appliances.
In April 2004, the owner and the key managers at API decided to explore ways to expand their customer base, increase their product offerings and increase the company profitability. Because of the expanding need for additional suppliers for the rapidly growing automotive industry in Mississippi, they decided that one of the API initiatives must be directed at receiving ISO certification.
In April 2004, API contacted Mr. Tony Jeff, the Executive Director of the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) in Mississippi, and requested assistance in finding a reputable agency to train API employees in ISO Certification Standards. Because API resides in the Hinds Community College (HCC) District, Mr. Jeff then contacted the MEP representative at HCC, and asked him to contact API. In-depth discussions between the API management team, the HCC MEP representative, and a Plexus Certified Trainer, Mr. Mark Williams of Ridgeland, Mississippi, resulted in a detailed and comprehensive training plan, customized to help meet API meet their goal of achieving ISO certification by late 2004. The training was completed within a month. In a post-training survey conducted by the HCC MEP representative, the training was judged by the participants to be “Of great value in our efforts to meet our goals toward certification.”
API is presently developing the documentation, measuring their levels of accomplishment against the ISO standards, and further educating their production staff. It appears that API may exceed their original goals of becoming ISO certified by “late 2004”, and instead will request their initial audit for July 2004.
“We are more than pleased with the ISO Standards training offered through the partnership of Hinds Community College, the Manufacturing Extension Partnership and the Plexus Trainer, Mr. Mark Williams. It will aid us greatly in increasing our customer base. Ultimately though, the real benefits derived by Accelerated Plastics Inc., are those of discovering ways to continuously improve our products by better understanding our processes, and by further improving the many skills of our valued employees. Our goals include achievement of ISO certification in the very near future.”
Mr. Darrell Hart
Accelerated Plastics Inc.
126B West Mays Street
Jackson, MS. 39213