STARKVILLE, Miss.--Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant will offer the keynote address at the third annual Mississippi State University Manufacturing Summit.
On Wednesday [March 27] at the Franklin Furniture Center, Bryant will explain his vision for state manufacturing and furniture industries, which employ 12 percent of Mississippi's non-farm workforce.
Hosted by MSU's Franklin Furniture Institute and the American Home Furnishings Alliance, the 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. summit will address many of the challenges and opportunities facing Magnolia State manufacturers.
MSU faculty experts will join leaders from state manufacturing furniture industries and representatives of the U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Appalachian Regional Commission and Delta Regional Authority. Summit sponsors include CertiPUR-US, the Mississippi Manufacturers Association, the MSU Forest and Wildlife Research Center and the MSU Extension Service.
Along with opening remarks from MSU President Mark E. Keenum and a welcome by Franklin Furniture Institute Director Bill Martin, the program will include:
-- "Lessons Learned in the 2013 Global Manufacturing Competitiveness Index," Jack McDougle, Council on Competitiveness.
-- "How Collaboration between the Private Sector and Federal Agencies Can Accelerate Manufacturing Growth in the Mississippi Furniture Cluster," panel discussion featuring Matt Erskine, U.S. Department of Commerce; Doug O'Brien, U.S. Department of Agriculture; Hassell Franklin, Franklin Corporation; Earl Gohl, Appalachian Regional Commission; Skipper Holliman, HomeStretch LLC; Chris Masingill, Delta Regional Authority; Bruno Policicchio, Max Home Furniture; and David Rumbarger, Community Development Foundation.
-- "Answering Consumer Questions with Certified Foam," Helen Sullivan, CertiPUR-US.
-- "Solutions for Surviving the Skilled Labor Shortage," Bill Renick, Three Rivers Planning and Development District.
-- "Where are we now? TB 117 2012, Prop 65," Bill Perdue, America Home Furnishings Alliance.
-- "Consumer Buying Attitudes and Behavior," Nicole Ponder, MSU professor of marketing, quantitative analysis and business law.
-- "Healthcare Issues and Concerns for Manufacturers," panel discussion featuring Jay Moon, Mississippi Manufacturers Association; Mike Chaney, Mississippi Commissioner of Insurance; Rusty Berryhill, Kevin Charles Furniture; Jim Taylor, Huntington Ingalls Industries; and Pepper Crutcher, Balch and Bingham LLP.
Manufacturing and furniture stakeholders should register at www.ffi.msstate.edu, and lunch is included as part of the registration fee. Members of the American Home Furnishing Association can register for $99, while non-members will pay $139.