The Mississippi Department of Health and Human Services, Entergy Mississippi, Families First, and the Community College Board are just a few of the organizations that are joining forces to increase workforce development in the state.
They’ve combined for an effort called “Better Me, Better Mississippi,” which will farm Magnolia state folks for jobs and workforce development in the state.
“We currently have 40,000 jobs available across the state,” said Entergy CEO Haley Fisackerly. “And eighty percent of those don’t require a four year degree.”
But what they do require are skilled laborers. With the various state agencies working with the state’s community colleges, students hoping to be workers can pursue the training necessary to meet the requirements of those positions.
“We’re working with the community colleges to bring resources to them in order to help the students,” said Mississippi Department of Health and Human Services Executive Director John Davis. “We’re showing them the path.”
Davis said that sometimes the “easy path” is not the right path.
“There will be opportunities for them to work, and go to school, and receive hands on training,” said Davis. “But it won’t be easy. They may have to work days and take classes at night.”
MDHS can connect students to SNAP and TANF benefits that would also help with school expenses.
“It’s a hand up, not a handout,” said Dr. Andrea Mayfield, President of the Mississippi Community College Board. “You hear that sometimes… they just need an opportunity.”
Families First of Mississippi is also joining the effort.
“The partnership between MDHS and FFFM is one of many that has developed as a result of Governor Phil Bryant’s initiative to provide a premier State Workforce Development team,” said FFFM spokesperson Alyssa Laubach.
As part of Better Me Mississippi, MDHS, FFFM, the Community College Board have released a promotional video for the effort: