Mississippi Public Universities support state’s advanced manufacturing sector

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The advanced manufacturing sector in Mississippi provides thousands of jobs, supports our state through tax revenue generated, supports local communities through donations, and create products that are essential in our everyday lives, from personal transportation to national security.

Advanced manufacturing operations in the state, including Huntington Ingalls Industries, Nissan, Toyota, Cooper Tires, Yokohama, Raytheon, and Howard Industries to name just a few, play a crucial role in our state’s economy.

Mississippi Public Universities provide strong support to the sector through research which helps to create and improve products and academic programs preparing students to enter the advanced manufacturing workforce as engineers, chief operations officers, chief financial officers, and chief executive officers.

The Accelerator at USM

Recognized as The University of Southern Mississippi’s business incubator, The Accelerator is a 60,000 square-foot facility in Hattiesburg that drives economic development through technology innovation and commercialization. The facility serves as an innovation center for accelerated technologies development, scale-up, market validation, manufacturing, and commercialization. Through the Accelerator, USM operates the Mississippi Polymer Institute, a nonprofit industrial outreach arm that supports job creation and business growth by providing diverse technical services such as product development, material selection, and manufacturing troubleshooting, among other services. The Mississippi Polymer Institute’s capabilities include polymer synthesis, composite manufacturing, testing, compounding, extruding, molding, design, CAD modeling, 3D printing, workforce training, and educational outreach.

Image courtesy of Alcorn State University

Alcorn State University’s Product Development Center assists individuals and small businesses in value-added production. A state-of-the-art laboratory incubator, the Center aids in the cultivation of natural, agricultural-based products, preparing them for mass production. It develops, enhances, and promotes the innovations of farmers and entrepreneurs in surrounding communities, as well as those created by the University. With jointly-marketed items ranging from soynut cookies, hot sauce, pepper sauce, jellies, jams, and marinades to items like lip balm, hand creams, and soap, the Center amplifies entrepreneurship and helps develop products through research, work with small farmers and innovators to assist them in increasing profits, and educate students through hands-on experiences with value-added processing. By improving economic stability, the Center makes a significant impact on the livelihood of Mississippi’s farmers, entrepreneurs, and small business owners.

Image courtesy of Delta State University

Delta State University College of Business and Aviation’s Division of Management, Marketing and Business Administration offers several degree programs that prepare graduates to enter manufacturing organizations as leaders, supervisors, and decision-makers. The Division offers four programs of study which lead to a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Management, Marketing, Healthcare Administration or General Business. The management major offers five tracks: Business Management, International Business and Development, Services Management, Human Resource Management, and Supply Chain Management. Each track provides students a solid educational foundation to enter the workforce and assist in the management needs of the global industry.

Jackson State University is helping Mississippi’s economy develop even more by sustaining its vital resources and infrastructure. Associate Provost Dr. Joseph Whittaker has joined the Governor’s Military Defense Initiative to encourage defense-related manufacturing companies to locate here and build tanks, ships, weapons, and other assets.


Photo courtesy of Mckenzie Craig

Mississippi State’s Bachelor of Applied Science degree gives those looking for career advancement the credentials to boost their employment potential in the state’s manufacturing industry. While the university’s BAS program offers over 30 concentrations, three of these—Operations Management Engineering, Manufacturing Fundamentals, and General Technology—are specific pathways to expanding employment opportunities in a state that ranks in the top 10 manufacturing sectors nationwide. The program also gives working adults and transfer students flexibility with online, in-person, and hybrid learning options through MSU’s Center for Distance Education or the Starkville, Meridian, or Gulf Coast campuses.

Image Courtesy of Mississippi Valley State University

Mississippi Valley State University’s Department of Engineering Technology plays a part in impacting Mississippi’s manufacturing sector. Students gain skills needed to apply the engineering principles used in a variety of exciting careers. The technical skills learned at MVSU are used to support engineers in construction, manufacturing, or industrial settings. Graduates may be responsible for the planning, design, management, and integration of new product designs, the development of improvements in manufacturing processes, the management of an organization’s physical and technical functions, or be involved in any number of other engineering activities.

The Department of Engineering Technology offers five (5) concentrations in which a student can choose to earn a Bachelor of Science Degree:

  • Architectural Construction Management
  • Automated Identification Technology (AIT)
  • Computer-Aided Drafting & Design (CADD)
  • Electronics Technology
  • Technology Management

The Ingalls-built amphibious assault ship Tripoli (LHA 7) sails the Gulf of Mexico during builder’s trials held in July. Photo by Derek Fountain/HII

Since 2008, the University of Mississippi’s Haley Barbour Center for Manufacturing Excellence (CME) has supported the state’s manufacturing industry by producing graduates who are uniquely trained in the principles of accountancy, engineering, business, communication, and continuous improvement through the lens of manufacturing. Students gain real-world experiences through co-ops or internships with industry leaders such as Toyota, ExxonMobil, Trane, Tesla, and more. Additionally, experiential learning courses have been held at ADP Products, ABB, Nissan, Ingalls Shipbuilding, Borg Warner, Viking Range, Blue Delta Jeans, GE Aviation, and others. The CME’s advisory council represents leaders from the top manufacturers located in Mississippi, and partners include Mississippi Manufacturers Association, Mississippi Automotive Manufacturing Association, and Manufacturing Institute Education Council.

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