|Program||# of Grants||EDA Funds|
|Economic Adjustment Assistance||4||$1,468,000|
The Technology Resource Institute (TRI) is an EDA-supported University Center at Mississippi State University which strives to cultivate innovation by “building out the last mile” of entrepreneurship in rural and distressed counties, including the Mississippi Delta. Teams of Mississippi State University MBA and Business Information Systems students and faculty work directly with local businesses and industries to provide the vital research, consulting, and analysis services. The benefits of this program represent a win-win for both the university and the Mississippi business community — students receive hands-on learning and problem solving by connecting to many of the state’s leading businesses, while Mississippi employers receive the research and analytics their businesses need to expand and thrive.
When a steel fabricator in Mississippi that employs over 600 workers faced layoffs due to the global slowdown in heavy construction, the company’s leadership came to TRI for help. The company identified a new product, after-market truck bumpers, which they could make using their existing machinery, but lacked the necessary knowledge of the sector. A team of MBA students and faculty working through the TRI program assisted with research on competition, pricing, distribution, and barriers to entry for the truck bumper market. Their research outlined a path to success for the company, enabling them to start a new product line. Not only did the company not have to proceed with their expected layoffs, but the new product line allowed them to hire additional workers.