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8/10/2018 - Jackson, Miss.

Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL) staff member Eric Atchison recently completed the Delta Regional Authority's (DRA) Delta Leadership Institute (DLI) Executive Academy, a year-long training program that brings together public, private, non-profit sector leaders from each of the eight states served by DRA. The program equips participants with the tools, experiences and networks that will help them create new economic opportunities in Delta communities as well as support the growth of the region's economy.

"My experiences during the DLI Executive Academy have provided me with an array of resources and connections that prepared me to strengthen the Delta by learning from exemplars within and outside of our region," said Atchison. "Building upon my work with IHL, I will use this opportunity to promote regional growth and address the issues we face."

Atchison, Director of System Analysis, Research and Enrollment Management at IHL, participated in six training sessions where he learned from local, regional and national experts in infrastructure and transportation, small business and entrepreneurship, workforce training, public health and other fields necessary for economic growth in the Delta region. Participants also learned about the economic and community development tools that are currently working in the Delta.

The Delta Regional Authority is a federal-state partnership created by Congress in 2000 to help create jobs, build communities, and improve lives through strategic investments in economic development in 252 counties and parishes across eight states, including Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, and Tennessee.

Since 2005, DLI's Executive Academy has enhanced the leadership skills, policy knowledge and networks of community members in the Delta Region. After graduation, graduates become members of the Delta Leadership Network, which includes more than 500 community leaders who understand the importance of regional collaboration, resource sharing and innovative thinking.

The Delta Leadership Institute is a program of DRA in partnership with three institutions of higher education in the Delta region: The University of Alabama, Arkansas State University-Jonesboro and the University of Louisiana Monroe.

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The Mississippi Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning governs the public universities in Mississippi, including Alcorn State University; Delta State University; Jackson State University; Mississippi State University including the Mississippi State University Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine; Mississippi University for Women; Mississippi Valley State University; the University of Mississippi including the University of Mississippi Medical Center; and the University of Southern Mississippi.

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