McCullough to headline annual manufacturing summit

By: Vanessa Beeson

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Posted: 2/26/2016

McCullough to headline annual manufacturing summit Photo By: Submitted

The Mississippi Development Authority's executive director will be featured speaker March 16 for the sixth annual Manufacturing Summit at Mississippi State.

Glenn McCullough Jr. was appointed by Gov. Phil Bryant last year to head the state's lead agency for economic and community development. An agricultural economics graduate of the university, he is a Tupelo native and former mayor of Northeast Mississippi's largest city.

The 8 a.m.-3 p.m. summit takes place at the Franklin Center, located on campus at the intersection of Blackjack Road and Loxley Way.

A $99 admission fee to the space-limited event includes lunch and conference materials. Advance registration may be completed at

"Mississippi ranks eighth in the nation in manufacturing employment," McCullough said. "More than 12 percent of our workforce is dedicated to some type of manufacturing."

He said the primary goal of MDA, a 300-employee agency, "is to work with partners to accelerate economic growth, strengthening the economy, attracting more and better career opportunities, in manufacturing and across all sectors of the Mississippi economy."

Other speakers for the daylong event will include:

  • James Williams, State Workforce Development Board executive director, who will discuss a recent analysis of Mississippi's current workforce and how state leaders may be utilizing the information in coming years.
  • Roger King, executive director of the MSU Institute for Computational Research in Engineering and Science, who will discuss disruptive technologies in manufacturing.
  • David Dampier, director of MSU's Distributed Analytics and Security Institute, who will lead a discussion on cybersecurity in manufacturing.

Bill Martin, director of MSU's Franklin Furniture Institute, said King's presentation will focus on what is referred to as "big data" and how manufacturing sectors may best manage it.

Martin said Dampier's remarks should help company executives and others better understand how to protect the data of customers, employees and proprietary information centers. "Lloyds of London estimates that cyber-attacks are costing businesses $400 billion per year," he noted.

Since the first statewide gathering, the annual MSU summit has been geared to serve the needs of manufacturing leaders and other key decision makers from engineering to furniture making to shipbuilding and beyond, Martin explained.

"Our job is to educate and transfer knowledge to the manufacturing sector in areas that are of interest to them," Martin said. "Each year, we try to select high-profile topics relevant and timely to the current state of these industries."

For more information on the event, contact Amy Garrard at 662-325-8453 or

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