Monday, August 13, 2018

New Workforce Scholarships and Grants for Opportunity Youth and Employers in Washington County

The Washington County Economic Alliance is now able to support the pipeline of hiring though workforce grants targeted at future employees and employers. Please visit our website if you would like to learn more. 
ACT WorkKeys Job Profiling

ACT WorkKeys Youth Scholarship Youth Workforce Training Scholarships

Washington County Economic Alliance breaks ground on a multi-million dollar, 84-room, Tru by Hilton in Greenville, MS.

Greenville, MS – The Washington County Economic Alliance (WCEA) is pleased to announce a groundbreaking ceremony for the development of a Tru by Hilton in Greenville, MS. Through a development partnership of the Chawla and Retzer familes, the new hotel will bolster 84 rooms through a multi-million dollar investment. This project will be built at 600 Rayner Rd. in Greenville, MS off of Highway 1 South, behind The Skin Institute. Construction has commenced at the property, and the hotel is scheduled to open May 2019.
“This is an exciting announcement to be taking place in Greenville and Washington County,” said Cary Karlson, executive director of the WCEA. “This project is a true example of community and development partnerships, and I applaud the Chawla and Retzer family for their continued investment in our community.”
To celebrate the beginning of construction for this project, a groundbreaking event was held on the future hotel site at 600 Rayner Rd., Greenville, MS 38701 on August 10, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. United States Senator Roger Wicker of Mississippi was honored guest and speaker at the event.
“The Retzer family has long admired what the Chawla's have built in Washington County and the Mississippi Delta,” said developer Michael Retzer. “We're thrilled about this partnership, and look forward to bringing the Delta a vibrant new hotel concept with Tru by Hilton.”
"We hope this is the first of many developments between the Chawla family and Retzer family in the Mississippi Delta,” proclaimed developer Suresh Chawla. “Both families share a strong love for Washington County and the surrounding area."
The construction of a new hotel in Greenville is another example of recent investment in the community which aims to bolster the quality of life for residents.
“The City is pleased to announce that this multi-million dollar investment will add to over $90 million dollars in local, state, nonprofit, and federal investments here in the City of Greenville in the past 2 years,” said City of Greenville Mayor Errick Simmons. “The hotel and lodging industry is a critical component of our local economy. Hotels are catalysts for increased revenue, opportunity, and wages for residents and commercial growth for our area. We commend the City Council and Board of Supervisors for their vision and leadership in this effort.”

About Tru by Hilton:
Tru by Hilton is a game-changing midscale hotel brand providing a simplified and spirited approach that is grounded in value for business and leisure travelers. The brand is modern and functional, offering social connectivity with reimagined public spaces, including an open lobby comprised of four areas where guests can work, play, lounge, and eat. Designed to appeal cross-generationally, guests enjoy complimentary amenities, including a free Build Your Own ‘Top It’ breakfast with hot items, coffee, and tea; smaller, more modern, and efficiently designed guestrooms with a rolling desk and oversized windows for natural light; a multifunctional fitness center; and fast Wi-Fi. Premium snacks, light meal options and single-serve wine and beer are available for purchase at the 24/7 “Eat. & Sip.” market. Hilton Honors members who book directly through preferred Hilton channels have access to instant benefits. Learn more at or, and connect with Tru by Hilton on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and Instagram.

Washington County Economic Alliance recognized regionally for their Our Story marketing campaign

Southern Economic Development Council honors the Washington County Economic Alliance with an Award of Merit for the 2018 Community Economic Development Awards (CEDA).

Greenville, MS – The Washington County Economic Alliance (WCEA) was presented with an Award of Merit by the Southern Economic Development Council (SEDC) at their 2018 Annual Meeting held earlier this month in Mobile Alabama. The WCEA won this recognition in the “Thinking Outside the Box” category for their Our Story social media campaign.

“We are excited to receive this recognition from SEDC. There are 1000 members in SEDC and the WCEA was one of 5 organizations to win this award,” acknowledged Cary Karlson, Executive Director of the Washington County Economic Alliance.
WCEA’s Our Story social media campaign, at its heart, is to raise community awareness and to lead the charge for positive community attitude. The campaign runs across multiple social media platforms and uses videos and images to highlight the positive community assets of people, places, events, and employers. The branding of each post contains the hashtag #OurStoryWashCo.
“Through social media analytics, we can quantify that the posts are being seen, and we believe the posts are creating new narratives for the community to share and be proud of,” said WCEA project manager Will Coppage.
Another component of the campaign is the Our Story Video Contest. The contest runs through October 1, 2018. Residents of Washington County are asked to create videos/movies under two minutes in length that show “why they love Washington County.” Prizes for best video and most shared video will be awarded, with the two prize packed consisting of a Canon Rebel and a Go Pro camera package. To learn more and submission details, visit Winners will be announced in November during the WCEA’s Community Christmas Crawl.
About the 2018 CEDA Awards:
In 2006, SEDC started a new program to recognize outstanding communities in our region for their efforts in advancing the economic viability of their community through economic and community development programs. The awards recognize exceptional projects/programs of communities for efforts in the areas of Business Retention and Expansion, Business Recruitment, Community Development and Community Involvement. Entries are judged based on innovativeness, transferability, community commitment and leverage, and measured objectives.
About the “Thinking Outside the Box” Category:
A marketing piece, campaign, event or other related economic development activity that clearly demonstrates originality, uniqueness, creativity, and/or use of leading edge technologies (including social media).
About SEDC:
Tracing our roots to the fall of 1946, the Southern Economic Development Council is the oldest and largest regional economic development association in North America. We have members in 17 states in the American South, including Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kansas,
Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia.
SEDC is a non-profit, 501 (c)(6), membership organization governed by a Board of Directors and Executive Committee. One director is elected by each member state to serve with elected officers on the Board of Directors. Our office is located in Atlanta and managed by a professional staff.
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Cary Karlson
Executive Director