LAUREL, Miss. (WDAM) - The Jones County Chamber of Commerce and the Economic Development Authority hosted their annual Legislative Forum at Life Church on Thursday in Laurel.
The event was an opportunity for area business leaders to hear about important issues from state lawmakers on a variety of topics that could have an impact on state and local economies.
Those who attended heard from Rep. Donnie Scoggin, District 89, and Rep. Omeria Scott, District 80, as well as from Sen. Joey Fillingane, District 41, who joined the discussion virtually.
Scoggin said unemployment in Jones County was a topic that comes up often with business owners.
“I think one of our biggest topics that I get a lot of people concerned about is not having enough people out there wanting to work,” Scoggin said. “In Jones County right now, we have a 6% unemployment rate, but yet everywhere I look, there’s ‘help wanted’ signs. So we’ve got people that are making $2000 a month on unemployment, and we got people out here begging people to come to work and we’ve got to change that mentality just a little bit.”
The health care and the quality of life in Mississippi are issues Scott wants to address in order to move Mississippi forward.
“We need more money going into mental health, but then we also have young people, they want to remain in Mississippi but the quality of life is not good here,” Scott said. “So we have to start looking to try to address quality of life issues to try to keep our young people here and attract others to come back here to Mississippi.”
This is the fourth year The Jones County Chamber of Commerce and EDA has hosted the Legislative Forum, which was sponsored by Bancorpsouth.