About Us


Caterpillar's 10th Anniversary

Caterpillar’s 10th Anniversary

To be a leader in creating opportunities for responsible economic investment, thereby raising the per capita income for all citizens of Lafayette County. In support of this, we are committed to:

  • Being responsive to local business and industry.
  • Being a responsible vehicle to preserve a positive business environment in Lafayette County and the area.
  • Facilitating technology transfer at the University of Mississippi into our community.
  • Supporting other positive community efforts which improve our quality of life and yield economic benefits.

Goals and Objectives

  1. Address needs of existing business and industry and support retention and expansion efforts.
    • Formalize a comprehensive visitation program focused on major existing business and industry.
    • Continue advocacy efforts on behalf of local business and industry to maintain a positive and profitable business climate.
    • Continue to support expansion and improvement of Lafayette County Industrial Park and other infrastructure improvements conducive to economic development.
    • Maintain a comprehensive summary of available buildings and sites.
  2. Workforce Development: Create a more skilled and productive workforce encouraging education and training responsive to employer needs.
  3. Infrastructure and Technology Assessment and Development: Develop and capitalize on Lafayette County’s unique opportunity for technology-based businesses generated from the University of Mississippi.
    • Work with The Mississippi Technology Alliance (MTA) and UM resources in developing a comprehensive technology strategy for Lafayette County
    • Continue participation and dialogue with the UM Office of  Research, academic departments, and University Technologies for opportunities for job development through research spin-offs into our local economy.
    • Partnering with our regional counterparts and organizations/agencies to establish affordable, high speed, broadband access throughout the region.
    • Serve as a policy advisor and marketer for the North Mississippi Enterprise Initiative, Inc. and work to promote the facility as a location for technology start-up businesses.
  4. Enhance EDF’s local and regional image utilizing marketing and promotional strategies.
    • Recruit new business and industry to our area from selected target markets.
    • Assist other development organizations within our region that request assistance in their recruiting and marketing efforts to secure new business and industry.
    • Continue cooperative relationships with Mississippi Development Authority, TVA, the North Mississippi Industrial Development Association, and other state and regional economic agencies that complement EDF’s efforts to secure new jobs and investments.
    • Serve as a primary resource for objective information on economic development issues.
    • Continuously refine and update EDF web site and marketing materials for targeted business attraction.
    • Increase regular publicity with local/regional media to raise awareness of EDF’s accomplishments and activities.
  5. Enhance business climate and quality of life.
    • Generate support for the efforts of local government, the Oxford Tourism Council, and local businesses in working to improve community infrastructure and desirability as an ideal place to visit and reside.
    • Continue efforts to promote and maintain the successful Retiree Attraction Program that helps garner national recognition for Oxford as a community with an exceptional quality of life.
    • Maintain a close working relationship with local school systems and support their efforts to attain the highest level of education and workforce preparation necessary for students to succeed in the workplace.


After a study was conducted by the former Oxford-Lafayette County Industrial Foundation in 1992, it was discovered the Lafayette County was strongly lacking in a comprehensive economic development program. Dr. Malcolm Portera was hired to examine Oxford-Lafayette County’s needs and future potential. As a result, Dr. Portera made suggestions to:

  • Re-charter and improve the economic development organization’s structure
  • Develop programs for existing businesses and industry and future industrial development efforts.
  • Create an effective “grow your own” strategy.
  • Enhance local infrastructure.
  • Change complacent community attitudes.

Following his advice, an effective economic development effort for the Oxford-Lafayette County-University of Mississippi community was born: The Oxford-Lafayette County Economic Development Foundation, Inc.