ASPIRE Mississippi and Chamber of Commerce’s Economic Development Foundation Unite for “Today’s Initiatives for Tomorrow’s Workforce” Event

February 1, 2024

ASPIRE Mississippi, a partnership between the Mississippi Development Authority (MDA) and the Stennis Institute, along with the Cleveland-Bolivar County Chamber of Commerce's Economic Development Foundation, successfully hosted "Today's Initiatives for Tomorrow's Workforce." The collaborative educational and networking event took place on January 30 in Cleveland, drawing more than 50 attendees.

"Today's Initiatives for Tomorrow's Workforce" brought together educational partners supporting Bolivar County and a diverse group of business and community leaders. The aim was to explore innovative ways to strengthen and expand the future workforce of Bolivar County, contributing to regional economic growth.

Executive Director of the Cleveland-Bolivar County Chamber of Commerce Hannah Aguzzi emphasized the event's significance, stating, "This initiative is a progressive step in a direction to foster a robust workforce in Bolivar County. Securing our existing businesses and their ability to expand and grow, as well as, increasing marketability for attracting new business and industry will create a positive economic impact in our community."

The event featured local and regional speakers who shared valuable insights on workforce development:

  • Felicia S. Graham, Office Manager, Cleveland WIN Job Center
  • Curt McCain, Ed.D., Head of School, Bayou Academy
  • Lisa Bramuchi, Ed.D., Superintendent of Schools, Cleveland School District
  • Melvin Cook, Interim Superintendent of Schools, West Bolivar Consolidated Schools
  • Steven R. Jossell, COM, Executive Director, Coahoma Community College Workforce Development Center
  • Douglas Freeze, Vice President of Workforce and Economic Development, The Capps Center, Mississippi Delta Community College
  • Daniel J. Ennis, Ph.D., President, Delta State University
  • Mitzi Woods, Workforce Director, South Delta Planning and Development District
  • Kimberley Gatewood, Ecosystem Coordinator, Accelerate Mississippi
  • Sean Wessel, CPA; President, LT Corporation; CEO, Quality Steel Corporation
  • Tim Climer, Manager of Programs and Services, Mississippi Development Authority
  • Robert Maxwell, Port Director, Rosedale-Bolivar County Port Commission; President, Cleveland-Bolivar County Chamber of Commerce

A complimentary lunch was sponsored by the Mississippi Development Authority and the Stennis Institute, enhancing the networking experience for all attendees.

For more information on ASPIRE Mississippi, visit

To learn more about the Cleveland-Bolivar County Chamber of Commerce, visit