Dignitaries from federal, state and local levels came together this morning to dedicate and name the Sen. Thad Cochran Center for Technology & Innovation in Vicksburg.
“Senator Cochran brought this together,” said U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, the event’s keynote speaker. “This is life changing,” she added, “thus, generation changing.”
The center will spur innovation, accelerate technology transfer and increase opportunities for Mississippi companies to land contracts with the U.S. Army Engineering Research & Development Center. The center will also provide higher education opportunities in science, technology, engineering and math.
The $19 million project came together under the leadership of the Vicksburg and Warren County Economic Development Foundation. The group rehabilitated the old Mississippi Hardware Building to house the center with local, state and federal support. The State of Mississippi committed $5 million to the project and the City of Vicksburg committed $300,000 per year for 10 years. Additionally, nearly $5 million in Historic Tax Credits has been secured.
“It’s really about the jobs of the future … for our kids, our community, the region and the entire state of Mississippi,” said Pablo Diaz, President & CEO of the Vicksburg-Warren Economic Development Partnership. “We’re really looking to create a change and a new economic model for the state.”
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