May 25, 2019  

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USM Professor Miller Authors Book Focusing on Low-Income Communities

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Dr. Mark Miller

A passion to address the plight of low-income areas in Mississippi and beyond inspired Dr. Mark M. Miller, professor in the Department of Geography and Geology at The University of Southern Mississippi, to author his latest book: Economic Development for Everyone: Creating Jobs, Growing Businesses, and Building Resilience in Low-Income Communities.

The book examines a critical question: How do we create employment, grow businesses, and build greater economic resilience in our low-income communities today, including rural towns, inner-city neighborhoods, aging suburbs, and lagging regions such as Appalachia, American Indian reservations, the Mexican border, and the Mississippi Delta?

“I believe this book meets an important need, focused specifically on the economic development needs of low-income communities across the US and Canada,” said Miller. “Mississippi has many communities that are struggling economically, of course, but I believe those communities also hold great potential for development.”

The book collects, organizes, and reviews in a single source much of the current research available on creating economic development in low-income communities. Part One offers an overview of the harsh realities facing low-income communities in the US today: their many economic and social challenges, debates on whether to try reviving local economies vs. relocating residents, and current trends in economic development that emphasize high-tech industry and high levels of human capital.

In response, Part Two organizes the sprawling literature of applied economic development research into a practical framework of five action-oriented dimensions: empower your residents, beginning with basic education; enhance your community by building on existing assets; encourage your entrepreneurs; diversify your economy; and sustain your development. 

Miller notes that the book will prove particularly beneficial to economic development scholars and students, but also thoughtful practitioners and community leaders.

With a specialty in economic development and low-income communities, Miller has pursued his research interests across Mississippi and the South, as well as Arizona, Cuba, Mexico, Belize, Jamaica, and Nunavut. In 1997 he co-authored, Investment in the New Cuban Tourist Industry: A Guide to Entrepreneurial Opportunities with Tony Henthorne.

Miller’s newest book (2017. Routledge) is available on Amazon and other booksellers: