Potential Great for Twin States

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The letter of intent signed by Governors Ronnie Musgrove of Mississippi and Bob Riley of Alabama has been one of the top stories of every television station and newspaper in the state.

Members of the media aren't the only ones to take notice, according to Musgrove.

"There are a lot of companies that are aware of this," said Gov. Musgrove. "There's been a lot of talk and a lot of contact and we're excited about the potential."

Wade Jones, president of the east Mississippi Business Development Corporation, described his view of the historic agreement.

"Not only do we improve our competitive position, politically we improve our position, too," said Jones. "In addition to the two governors working together, now we have congressional delegations working together."

Larry Dudley, one of this area's leading commercial real estate developers, called it a positive idea.

"I see it really as a real challenge and a real opportunity for both states to take very strong advantage of," said Dudley.

Why didn't anybody ever think of this before? In Dudley's opinion, that's because no one had the vision to understand and comprehend what was happening to manufacturing.

"Sometimes I think we need to look at how we define industrial development, because today these facilities really are buying parts from all over the world and assembling them in a facility that's highly technologically advanced to be able to compete in a world economy," said Dudley.

Dudley says he sees a bright future for this area. "I think we're just poised for real great things to happen in the next few years in our community. And our community to me is west Alabama and east Mississippi," Dudley said.