York goes on board with UWA to attract industry

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 11, 2005

York Mayor Carolyn Mitchell-Gosa and other city officials knows in order to attract industry you have to take advantage of all resources. Recently, they took a big step toward attracting new businesses to the Sumter County town by establishing a partnership with the University of West Alabama and the city’s Industrial Board.

Gosa said it had been discussed and at their last meeting they voted the idea in.

“We voted at our last meeting to go on board with the university of West Alabama as far as our Industrial Board is concerned,” Gosa said. “We felt like that would send the message to people that we are out there and we are willing to work with them.”

Gosa said the partnership will help the city reach a larger number of people than before and should serve as excellent advertising for their municipality.

“This will really help us get our name out there and it will be great for us to work together,” Gosa said. “We will be working closely with James Mock who is just great. He is so smart and we know it will benefit us greatly to work together.”

James A. Mock, who was an economic developer from Petal, Miss., serves

as

Director of the West Alabama Regional Center for Economic and Community Development.

Mock has a reputation of reaching out to Black Belt mayors and other officials as he and Demopolis Mayor Cecil P. Williams worked closely to hold a Black Belt Mayor’s Conference recently. The conference was a success and many mayors have been eager to set up a second meeting.

Mock holds a master’s degree in economic development from the University of Southern Mississippi and most recently served as Director of the Center for International Studies and Lifelong Learning at Tougaloo College. He has also served as the Executive Director for the Economic Development Partnership in Winona, Mississippi. While in Winona, the community gained two new industries, thirty-three small businesses, and began a school-to-career program.

As Director of the Center, Mock is charged with a range of responsibilities including economic development, grant writing, grant management and strategic planning. He also coordinates university based academic and service resources to promote business, government and human capital asset development in the west Alabama area.

The Center

also works to establish advisory groups, including governmental bodies, non-profit organizations, community action groups, and business organizations, to discuss issues that impact economic and community development in West Alabama.

The city hopes Mocks contacts, knowledge and willingness to work with city leaders will serve as huge benefits for York and their quest for industry.