In 2016, 70% of the $810,000,000 spent by the state’s five largest electric and gas companies on operations and maintenance went to companies outside of Mississippi.
Citing alarming numbers that show the state’s largest utilities spent 70% of $810 million in operations and maintenance work with out-of-state companies, Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley is inviting Mississippi businesses to attend an event in Tupelo to begin reversing that trend and plans to tour North Mississippi to out “Mississippi First.”
In 2017, Presley passed the Hire Mississippi rule that requires the state’s largest public utilities to give extra notice, attention, and support for Mississippi businesses looking to bid on public utility projects. This rule requires the largest utilities to give notice to each company on their Hire Mississippi Supplier List when any job is available for bid that a Mississippi company is qualified to perform. The program requires each business to sign up and provide certain information.
Kicking off his “Mississippi First” tour on December 13th in Tupelo, Presley will host a sign-up summit at the BancorpSouth Conference Center where businesses can sign-up for the Hire Mississippi program and learn how to take advantage of business opportunities offered throughout the state. The event is free and open to the public. Additionally, starting on Monday, January 7th, Presley will hold “Mississippi First-Hire Mississippi” sign-up meetings in each county with the first wave to be in New Albany, Amory, Mayhew, Sardis and Pontotoc starting on January 7th and each subsequent Monday.
“I am sick and tired of seeing out-of-state companies on construction sites in Mississippi when I know that Mississippians are footing the bill for those projects. I have zero doubt that MISSISSIPPI companies could be doing that at least some of that work, if they were given the chance. It’s past time that we put Mississippi businesses first and that is what the Hire Mississippi program does,” said Commissioner Brandon Presley. “Hire Mississippi allows Mississippi businesses to get a bite at the apple and be considered first for contracts that they are qualified to do. I’m kicking off this tour to do just that, put Mississippi businesses first. If we don’t look out for Mississippi businesses and workers, no one else will.”
Presley says that Atmos Energy, CenterPoint Energy, Entergy, Mississippi Power and Spire Gas will have representatives and sign-up tables at the BancorpSouth Conference Center to talk face to face with local contractors and businesses and sign them up or each company’s Hire Mississippi Supplier List on the spot.
“This is a causal event, but one where I want every business owner to leave there signed up for the Hire Mississippi Supplier List and with knowledge about the program.”
The event will start at 11:30 and be finished by 3:00 p.m. and lunch will be provided. To register your business for this event, please email Lauren Ann Cobb at email@example.com.