The Fast Forward Mississippi initiative has been committed to helping develop and advocating for policies that would help reverse the loss of intellectual capital in our state. The initiative has also focused on the related effort of fostering an environment conducive to building a thriving and competitive knowledge economy in Mississippi.
In an effort to help achieve these goals for the betterment of all Mississippi, Fast Forward Mississippi announces our 2017 advocacy agenda:
1. Substantive legislation to create a program that incentivizes recent college graduates to stay in the state. In 2015 we helped craft a bill that was offered in the House of Representatives which addressed this issue in the form of a 5-year state income tax hiatus for qualifying jobs. It is our goal for 2017 to revisit this legislation with a refined incentive program that is equally beneficial to the state and college graduates who would utilize the program. In the coming weeks we will be releasing more details on one proposed path to make such a program a reality.
2. The creation and implementation of policies that make Mississippi the most telework friendly state in the country. We believe that Mississippi has the opportunity to be the first true telework friendly state in the United States. This designation would be appealing to Millennial audiences, start-ups, entrepreneurs as well as established tech companies wishing to maximize efficiency from a knowledge-based workforce. This policy would also encourage talented and highly compensated knowledge workers to stay in Mississippi to pursue their careers.
3. To make computer science count as a core math or science in secondary education. Over the past year Mississippi has made great strides in instituting an aggressive computer science education initiative. Mississippians should be proud as the CS4MS program has been thoughtfully yet rapidly implemented as a pilot across numerous Mississippi school districts. We should seize the opportunity and build on this momentum by making computer science count as a core math or science, thus exposing many more of our students to the next generation of occupational skills that will drive a knowledge economy.
We believe these agenda items are highly feasible and can be implemented without overly burdensome bureaucracy or other aspects that would be detrimental to the state . On the contrary, we believe that these agenda points would pay short, medium, and especially long-term benefits that will spur further economic development and improvement across Mississippi raise the standard of living for all segments of our population. These policies will help close income disparities by opening opportunities to all Mississippians regardless of present economic status. Most importantly, these actions will help solidify an environment through which Mississippi can be not just competitive, but a leader in a global 21st-century knowledge economy.
If you are interested in learning more about these agenda items, or would like information on how to help make them a reality, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Mississippi has all the potential in the world and we firmly believe that with a minimal amount of investment, we can lead the knowledge economy.