Gov. Phil Bryant and state economic development officials are participating in the Walmart U.S. Manufacturing Summit today in Orlando, Fla. More than 500 supplier companies, 32 states and major retail industry leaders are also participating.

The summit will focus on manufacturing and supply chains in the U.S. and on Walmart’s 10-year commitment to buy more “Made in the USA” products.

Gov. Bryant will participate in a panel to discuss the importance of U.S. manufacturing for states and the state of Mississippi’s role in that renewal. Mississippi’s economy includes more than 3,400 wholesale and distribution facilities, and more than $16 billion in manufacturing sales contributed to the state’s gross domestic product in 2011. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, in July 2013, more than 135,700 Mississippians were employed in manufacturing jobs.

Gov. Bryant says Mississippi is well positioned to expand its manufacturing sector.

“Our energy costs are 20 percent lower than the national average, we are ranked number two in the county for speed in ensuring all proper certification and permits are complete for a business project and we are a right to work state,” Gov. Bryant said.

“Our message is simple; our workforce is highly-skilled and can support an American manufacturing renaissance,” Gov. Bryant said. “Mississippi workers are contributing to the success of the many globally-recognized companies that operate in our state today.”

In addition, supplier companies will meet with state officials to share information about potential projects and learn about resources available in participating states. The state of Mississippi has an exhibit space highlighting the state’s top ranked business climate, robust infrastructure, and strong manufacturing industry sector.

“This event is an excellent opportunity for us to share the message that Mississippi is a great place for manufacturing companies and suppliers to create new jobs and to do business,” said Mississippi Development Authority Executive Director Brent Christensen. “One of our targeted industries is advanced manufacturing. Mississippi is a prime location for this sector with convenient access to major markets, a highly-skilled workforce, and a portfolio of customized training solutions.”

To learn more about the Walmart U.S. Manufacturing Summit, visit .