Getting people back to work is top priority for Natchez Inc., according to Heather Malone, who resigned Tuesday night as Concordia Economic Development Director at the Town of Vidalia meeting.

“We have more job openings now since prior to the pandemic,” Malone told the Concordia Parish Chamber of Commerce during its monthly luncheon on Tuesday. ”We now have too many job openings because not enough people are willing to participate and fill those roles.”

Malone said Natchez Inc., is now concentrating on why there are so many openings not being filled.

“It may be fear of getting sick, federal policies, travel problems, not being able to afford child care or do not have adequate access to the training to do these jobs,” Malone said. “And there are jobs that pay $80,000 having the same problem as service at restaurants. We want to find out what the issues are and come up with a program to help our community.”

Malone said that businesses are thriving right now.

“There’s a different feel out there,” she said. “Everyone is excited as we seem to be coming to the end of this pandemic. We’re working really hard to attract different types of industries to our region to help us to be prosperous.”

Malone talked about how essential the film industry is becoming in Natchez.

Morgan Freeman is filming a documentary in Natchez, and rumors of other celebrities in Natchez has also been spreading.

“There are some celebrities looking to invest in Natchez,” Malone said. “We’re drawing in people on weekends who just hope to see some of the celebrities in town. I think this makes a bigger impact than some people believe.”

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