JCJC’s Honors College students learn business values from MS Power COO

Written By: Teresa Martin
Email Address: teresa.martin@jcjc.edu
Date Submitted: 2013-02-21 13:56:49

ELLISVILLE – Mississippi Power COO, Ed Day shared some business secrets of success with Jones County Junior College Honors Institute students as part of its Innovation and Competition Speakers series. From his experiences, Day said values and ethical decisions are the foundation of success.
“Don’t get ahead by just doing a job really good and working hard. Ask yourself how will you differentiate yourself from others? Value others opinions. That’s when my career shot off,” said Day. “Don’t be afraid to admit you don’t know everything because you want and need different perspectives and ideas to stay competitive and find innovative solutions.”
Day shared a video explaining the purpose and vision behind the Kemper County Power Plant Mississippi Power is currently constructing, as an example of how a company is bringing value to a city, county, state and region. He explained the company needed to plan for the future by improving its infrastructure or replacing old power plants before they become obsolete. Taking lignite, a soft wet coal that has no value, and is plentiful, proved to benefit more than just Mississippi Power, Day explained. Discovering a way to provide a water supply to the Kemper County Plant solved Meridian’s problem of financing a new water treatment facility. It also created a new function for the old water plant when the power company purchased the facility and modified it for the company’s needs.
JCJC engineering student, Brent Pace of Oak Grove was impressed with Day’s presentation about the controversial Kemper County Energy Facility. “He captured my attention when he explained all of the different ways that the plant would give back to the community and the state of Mississippi as a whole. I really like Mississippi Power's approach of utilizing this abundant and effective resource while constantly trying to find ways to use lignite coal in a cleaner way. I believe that innovation can play a major part in creating ways to better utilize resources without sacrificing productivity from an energy output standpoint.”
Day emphasized the power plant has also provided a highly trained and skilled workforce for the state and region as the company constructs the energy facility on 106,000 cubic yards of concrete with 591,748 linear feet of above ground piping. Day encouraged JCJC students to think bigger than themselves and find ways to improve their communities too.
“Do the right thing. Create value. We had to figure out how to solve a problem and it spawned an innovative solution. Set goals but don’t be too specific so you can find success your own way,” said Day.
Important characteristics and habits Day encouraged students to foster include networking with colleagues, mentor and help someone else, and schedule time on your calendar for family. 
Day said, “Put as much importance on family as business. For balance in your life, look beyond and look around yourself and never burn a bridge.”
Thirty years ago, Day reminded JCJC students he was sitting in a classroom. He challenged students to be great and come back in thirty years and share their success stories and secrets to life.
“I plan to accept his challenge,” said Mabry Ely of Raleigh who has plans of becoming a high school English teacher. “My career goals revolve around adding value to lives. Through education, I not only need to be valuable for job security, but I also need to add value in the lives of my future students by providing them with the best educational experience possible. I hope that when I return in 30 years, I can say I created value in many lives.”


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