Workforce Training in Mississippi Gets a Boost

January 19, 2010 by Emsi Burning Glass

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Here’s a commentary piece from the Hattiesburg (Miss.) American newspaper on the quality work being done in Mississippi’s workforce training program. The state’s legislature recently approved a bill to keep a major workforce training fund afloat, a move that drew praise from the author of the opinion piece, former legislator Bill Crawford.

You see, the WET Fund provides money to community and junior colleges to train workers. It represents Mississippi’s abiding commitment to provide a highly skilled workforce for business and industry. It undergirds job creation and retention, both desperately needed at this time.

Surplus unemployment taxes financed the WET Fund, a surplus eroded by the long lines drawing unemployment checks. Kirby’s bill removes the surplus requirement to keep funds flowing.

Crawford goes on to relate a shining success story — after Sara Lee closed a manufacturing plant and laid off 1,600 workers, East Mississippi Community College stepped in with retraining in modern manufacturing practices. Half of the dislocated workers found jobs elsewhere in six months.

More workforce training and community college success stories can be found in EMSI’s case study archive here.