USM Summer Course in Economic Development to focus on Communities Partnered with Defense Industry

April 10, 2017

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The University of Southern Mississippi’s Master of Science in Economic Development program will offer a new online elective course, ED 761 – Contemporary Issues in Economic Development Economic Development for Defense Communities, from June 5-July 31 in the 2017 summer semester.


The new course is designed for economic developers whose economy is defense- dependent and includes military personnel involved with civilian affairs, logistics, and, procurement. The course makes extensive use of data analytics to understand the defense industry and how to diversify local economies.


According to a U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) Office of Economic Adjustment report, the DoD spent $408 billion in FY2015 on payroll and contracts in the United States or approximately 2.3% of U.S. GDP.  In Mississippi, there are more than 37,000 defense personnel located at military bases across the state. Defense spending represents 4.9 percent of the state’s GDP and spending represents $1,754 per resident. Mississippi is one of the top 10 states for defense spending share of state GDP.


The course was developed through the Support National Security Technology Acceleration and Economic Diversification program funded by the U.S. Department of Defense Office of Economic Adjustment. It can be taken as a stand-alone course or as part of a degree program. Topics will include the social, economic, and community impacts of the defense industry, tools for measuring the economic impacts and mapping the supply chains of the defense industry, and case studies of successful diversifications.


The instructor for the course is Dr. Ed Bee, president and founder of Taimerica Management Company. Prior to founding Taimerica, Bee led regional and local economic development groups in New Orleans, Oklahoma City, Corpus Christi and Harlingen, Texas, and Darien, Ga.  Bee’s prior experience with DOD includes community support of the Tinker Air Logistics Center, the Corpus Christi Army Depot, and the Corpus Christi Homeport.  Bee worked with communities to support DOD needs during the construction of the Kings Bay Submarine Base and the expansion of Ft. Stewart, Ga.


For more information about this course, contact Dr. Chad Miller at; for information about the USM Master of Science in Economic Development, visit