Hancock County, MS | P.O. Box 2267 Bay St. Louis, MS 39521 | 706 Highway 90 | Waveland, Mississippi 39576 | Toll Free: 800.558.1658  | Phone: 228.467.9231 | Fax: 228.467.9341
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VisionFirst Advisors Selected to Develop Cluster Optimization Plan

November 9, 2016

WAVELAND, MS – On November 07, 2016, the Hancock County Port and Harbor Commission’s (HCPHC) CEO, Bill Cork announced the selection of VisionFirst Advisors to develop an Aviation and Aerospace Cluster Optimization Plan.

“The development of the aviation and aerospace cluster represents a significant opportunity for the growth of jobs and investment in the region,” said HCPHC’s CEO Bill Cork. “Today the competition for jobs and private capital is increasingly more difficult, which is why we selected VisionFirst Advisors to help us develop an optimization plan to evaluate our past efforts and results, adjust our ongoing initiatives to market conditions and plan new strategies for the future to remain competitive.”

Long a target of Hancock County and the Gulf Coast region, the aviation and aerospace industry continues to be poised for dynamic growth. Hancock County is uniquely positioned to benefit from this growth and now is the time for the HCPHC to redouble its efforts. Never has the opportunity been greater to take advantage of changing market conditions around unmanned systems, the increase in restricted airspace over Stennis Space Center and the overall opportunity to fully utilize all available products under the Commission’s purview.

VisionFirst will develop a comprehensive Optimization Plan to connect and direct the Commission’s economic development offerings and stakeholders to achieve measurable goals to enhance the aviation and aerospace cluster. The optimization plan will provide a clear course of action, milestones and a means of knowing when HCPHC has arrived at its destination. The overarching goals, strategies and tactics will build upon the existing resources and infrastructure to strategically grow jobs, support businesses and build a collaborative network to expand the industry. The final plan will be presented late May 2017.

“Since its inception in the early 1960s the Hancock County Port and Harbor Commission has taken a proactive approach to economic development,” said Gray Swoope, President and CEO of VisionFirst Advisors and former executive director of Mississippi Development Authority and Florida Secretary of Commerce. “Each of the Commission’s assets in land, water and air, provides immediate value to the aviation and aerospace industries. And now is the time for the Commission to serve as the catalyst to align the resources and stakeholders to drive a program of work which clearly articulates the value proposition to the end user.”

About Hancock County Port & Harbor Commission:

As the economic development authority for Hancock County, Mississippi, Hancock County Port & Harbor Commission owns and operates Port Bienville Industrial Park and Stennis International Airport, in addition to fostering business investment for NASA's premiere rocket testing facility - Stennis Space Center. For more information visit portairspace.com

About VisionFirst Advisors:

After 30 years of leading public and private economic development organizations in three different states, Gray Swoope helped launch VisionFirst Advisors, LLC, an economic development consulting company focused on location advisory services, economic development strategy, organizational management and result-driven marketing and communications. VisionFirst is a wholly owned subsidiary of Butler Snow LLP with nearly 400 attorneys in 17 U.S. cities as well as international offices in London, Hong Kong and Singapore. This unique structure allows VisionFirst to utilize the strength of the Butler Snow network, combined with the staff’s experience, knowledge and business connections to deliver results. To learn more about VisionFirst visit visionfirstadvisors.com


For More Info: 14054 Fred & Al Key Road
Kiln, Mississippi 39556 (228) 467-9231
Map14054 Fred & Al Key Road
Kiln, Mississippi 39556
Toll Free: 800.558.1658

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