STARKVILLE, Miss. (WTVA) -- Students from the Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science and from Mississippi State University attended Governor Phil Bryant's Energy Summit Wednesday.
Examining the state's energy future and coming up with ways to make enhancements are the challenges for students who major in these prospective fields.
"Science, technology, engineering, mathematic fields because those are areas that are going to be in high demand in years to come," said Dr. Mark Keenum, Mississippi State University president. "[We have] to address a lot of the technological demands that we have here as a society both nationally and globally."
With the program "Powering Mississippi in the 21st Century" now operational, it is hoped that through this program the state will not only become better at energy efficiency but make drastic improvements in all aspects of energy.
"We, of course, do more driving per capita than anyone," added Gov. Phil Bryant. "So much of our population live away from their job, and so we need to work harder at conservation and sustainability."
In order for the program to accomplish its goals, it will need to focus on finding solutions to the world's ever growing energy needs.
"The thing that we must have is a well-educated workforce as we look to expand into energy markets in the future," said Bryant.
Experts who work in the the energy sector said the next generation can greatly enhance energy efficiency but several steps need to be followed.
"Really, it's all about they're here, get educated, develop the skills, ask the questions and then really challenge the status quo," said Robert Balzar, vice president of energy efficiency demand response with the Tennessee Valley Authority. "We can do things better, and the next generation will do those things much, much better with energy and energy efficiency."
If all goes as planned, it will lead to a brighter future for the state and the southeast United States.
On Thursday, the governor is hosting another energy summit in Jackson.
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani is the keynote speaker.