STARKVILLE, Miss.--Gov. Phil Bryant and leaders from Mississippi's energy industry encouraged Golden Triangle area high school students Wednesday to consider the high-paying jobs available in the field and how they can help lead the state in energy development.
The governor's remarks and a panel discussion were part of Mississippi State University's "Powering Mississippi in the 21st Century." In addition to Gov. Bryant and MSU President Mark Keenum, featured speakers included Bob Balzar, vice president for energy efficiency, TVA; Richard Mills, CEO, Tellus Operating Group; Stephen Johnston, president, Itron Cellular Solutions; and Haley Fisackerly, president and CEO, Entergy Mississippi. The Mississippi Energy Institute and Mississippi Development Authority sponsored the panel discussion, which was open to the public.
Keenum, who welcomed students, other audience members, and guests to campus, said Mississippi is fortunate to have a governor who is committed to jobs in the growing field of energy development.
Earlier this week, Bryant was named chairman of the Southern States Energy Board, which promotes energy-based economic development, innovation, programs and policies.
Bryant said students of today must be well prepared in STEM subjects and ready to adapt to changing technologies as they become future leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs. While Mississippi has many accomplishments in the field of energy, Bryant said the state also must "work harder at conservation and sustainability."
The university is home to the Sustainable Energy Research Center and the Institute for Clean Energy Technology. The campus also houses the largest high voltage laboratory in North America. Keenum said Mississippi State is conducting ground-breaking research on biofuels production, which will help the United States attain energy independence.
Wednesday's event precedes an upcoming event Thursday [Oct. 4]. The Governor's Energy Summit will be held in Jackson and feature state and national energy leaders with a luncheon keynote address by former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani. That event also is free and open to the public. Registration information is available at http://mississippi.cvent.com/EnergySummit2012.
For more information about Mississippi State University, see www.msstate.edu.