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Jackson, MS: A Prime Destination for Young Talent

Diversity, affordability, career opportunities, lively arts scene and an outstanding quality of life have young professionals moving to Jackson.

By Teree Caruthers on February 13, 2023

There are plenty of great outdoor activities in Jackson, MS.
Drew Dempsey

Affordability, access to high-quality education and health care, a thriving arts and culture scene, and plentiful career opportunities are just a few of the advantages the Jackson Metro offers relocating families and businesses.

Diversity in population as well as in business are also among the reasons Jackson is able to lure talent. “Jackson is in a prime location where you are only minutes away from shopping, entertainment, dining and cultural activities within the metro and the city,” says John Gomez, president of Downtown Jackson Partners, an organization that oversees a 65-block area.

“Downtown is at the center of the city where you have several apartment buildings to choose from to live, and you are a short walk to restaurants and bars, incredible museums and quiet green spaces to relax. You are also a short drive away from larger parks, the medical district and unique shopping opportunities.”

Enjoy Vibrant Urban Culture in Jackson

The region’s reputation as a center of culture was enhanced in late 2017 with the opening of two signature museums, the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum and Museum of Mississippi History, in downtown Jackson. Thalia Mara Hall is home to Broadway plays, the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra and the USA International Ballet Competition.

Downtown Jackson boasts one of the few urban neighborhoods in the state, and by providing a walkable community with restaurants and bars, cultural institutions, plays and concerts, street festivals and events, Jackson is able to compete for young professionals who are attracted to an urban environment.

“Vibrant communities make it easier for businesses to recruit individuals to work for them and businesses are more inclined to locate in dynamic communities,” Gomez says.

Enjoy the pristine parks of Jackson, MS.

Take to the Trails and Other Great Amenities

In addition to a vibrant entertainment scene, Jackson also boasts amenities attractive to young professionals.

“There are always the aspects of convenience and low cost of living that are appealing to those in the early stages of their careers as well as those supporting a family, but Jackson has refocused and made an effort, both within the public sector and private sector, to bring online the amenities that have helped to attract talent in other non-coastal cities,” says Tim Mask, president and CEO of MWB, a creative content and marketing company that has worked with the city to develop branding and marketing strategies to attract visitors, talent and new business to Jackson.

The Jackson Metro offers an extensive and growing network of walking and biking trails. Walkable neighborhoods like Fondren and The District at Eastover are especially attractive not just for young professionals, but for remote or semi-remote workers.

“And then there are the intangibles,” Mask says. “I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the people of the City with Soul. I know lots of cities will say the exact same thing, but I dare to say pound for pound, we’d win this. I’ve often referred to Jackson as America’s capital of creativity. This stretches from arts and entertainment to innovators and entrepreneurs.”

“It is almost unimaginable to think that a city can be a true talent destination if it doesn’t actively promote diversity and inclusion,” he says. “Fortunately, Jackson has proven to be more than willing to embrace this concept, and that’s for the betterment of everyone.”

Bonus Benefit: A Great Airport

The Jackson-Medgar Wiley Evers International Airport houses commercial carriers American, Delta, Southwest and United. Those airlines fly to destinations that include Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Memphis and Washington, D.C. The airport produces a significant economic benefit for the Jackson Metro, with airport officials estimating its total impact at more than $1 billion annually.

Coming Soon: A ‘City Within a City’

Officials in Flowood in Rankin County look forward to soon welcoming a new “city within a city.”

Major development Waterpointe is now under construction on 230 acres just behind Dogwood Festival Shopping Center. The mixed-use community will feature single-family residences, apartment lofts, stores, restaurants, Class A office space, an assisted living facility and open green space.

A total of 800 residents will ultimately occupy the single-family homes, apartment lofts and assisted living building, and 800,000 square feet is earmarked for commercial space for stores, restaurants and entertainment venues. In addition, 75,000 square feet of Class A office space will be equipped with gigabit internet connectivity.

Other Waterpointe amenities will include a 34-acre lake, resort-style swimming pool, walking paths, bike trails, parks and a Town Center events area. Homes are already under construction at prices ranging from $450,000 to $750,000.

The developer is Lyles Signature Homes of Brandon. Officials say the entire project will generate an estimated economic impact of $250 million in construction activity alone.

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