Jackson businessman Richard Bradley has a dream of helping to revitalize West Jackson.
He is putting his money where his mouth is, as he is teaming with the City of Jackson, among others, on a $30 million mix-use development that will be anchored by a trade school.
A3 Consulting and the Hinds County Economic Development Authority are helping with the project that is being called The Jackson Yards.
Bradley, who also owns the nightclub and restaurant M Bar, believes The Jackson Yards will put economic development, job growth and revitalization on the fast track.
"I could not be more excited about this project," Bradley said. "My goal is to stay outside of the box and recreate the diamond that is Jackson, Mississippi."
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Anchoring The Jackson Yards will be the Metro Booming Training Academy, a trade school. There will also be new businesses and affordable housing at the 201 N. Green Ave location in West Jackson.
“Metro Booming Training Academy was launched to meet a need, creating thousands of in-demand jobs across Jackson, the state and nationwide," said Bradley, who is also the founder and owner of A3 Consulting. "The Jackson Yards will fuel the engines of economic and workforce development and revitalization — a gateway to prosperity.”
The Jackson Yards, is located on 10 acres next to the Kansas City Southern and Norfolk Southern Railways that intersects downtown.
Metro Booming Training Academy is a 20,000-square-foot facility, created in partnership with the Job Corps, city of Jackson, TriState Trucking and Adams and Associates.
The entire project is expected to host:
ASE Auto & Diesel Center — a Mississippi Job Corps initiative using a nationally recognized, competency-based, standardized training curriculum to highly skilled, in-demand workers.
Construction academy — to meet the demand of tomorrow’s builders.
Food and beverage training — a pipeline to always-in-demand restaurant and hospitality jobs.
Forklift operations school — the only forklift certification facility in Jackson.
Phase 2 of The Jackson Yards development will include what Bradley says will be an affordable-housing project.
“Business leaders like Richard have sparked transformational economic development in innovative ways for the metroplex through the years,” Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba said in a press release. “The Jackson Yards development will take that innovation to exciting new heights, a catalyst to renewal and progress in the heart of our city.”
The Metro Booming Training Academy is housed in a newly renovated, $500,000 warehouse featuring eight bays with world-class training equipment, classrooms, meeting rooms and offices.
More than 375 students will participate in the training academy’s first year, and the goal is to enroll more than 2,800 students in the next five years. Metro Booming Training Academy is expected to create nearly 3,000 jobs by 2028.
“This is a prime example of what I love to say — economic development is the greatest team sport there is,” said Tamika Jenkins, executive director of the Hinds County Economic Development Authority. “We are proud to support the intersection of economic and workforce development that will lead Jackson and Hinds County to a bright future. This exciting development anchored by Metro Booming Training Academy, will launch a talented new workforce that will support many businesses HCEDA will bring to Jackson and Hinds County.”
Bradley says he expects this project to jump start development in West Jackson.
"The training academy will help the people of Jackson raise their household income and be able to invest back into their community," Bradley said. "This is a win-win for the future of West Jackson and the entire city. We are ready to go."
If you have a story idea, Ross Reily can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 601-573-2952. You can follow him on Twitter @GreenOkra1.
This article originally appeared on Mississippi Clarion Ledger: A new $30 million development is coming to Jackson. See details