Mississippi is a state with a rich history and culture, but it also faces many challenges when it comes to sustainable development. This study seeks to empirically identify the challenges to sustainable development in Mississippi by forming groups of counties with similar socioeconomic levels. There are multiple moving parts and actors involved, and they can take years to pay off. However, with committed leaders and a clear vision of where the community wants and needs to be, Community Economic Development (CED) can move communities forward in a comprehensive way. CED is a process that allows the community to focus on both challenges and opportunities.
It is up to the community to decide whether to focus on challenges or opportunities, but CED provides a way for them to adapt to both. Three schools, Mississippi Valley State University, Delta State University and Mississippi Delta Community College will offer courses in the building. Community economic development, when properly implemented, has the potential to help communities not only remain competitive but also adapt to a very complex and dynamic situation. Rural communities face challenges related to demographic changes, workforce development, access to capital, infrastructure, health, land use and the environment, and community preservation. These community functions range from economy (providing goods and services) to socialization (the process by which the community transmits its knowledge, values and behavioral patterns to its residents) to social control (the process by which a group influences the behavior of its members to conform to its norms), social participation (provides a means through which residents can participate in their communities) and mutual support (provides help and support in times of need) (Warren, 198).Mississippi community empowerment is about people who plan to change a specific situation in their communities. It requires commitment from leaders and citizens alike.
It also requires an understanding of the challenges that rural communities face and how CED can help them adapt. With the right resources and dedication, Mississippi can become an example of successful community economic development.