Adequate funding for Mississippi’s workforce training efforts remains a critical issue for the state’s business and industry community.
As far too many business owners and managers know well, we have a workforce that lacks the skills that the 21st century global economy demands.
Rectifying this situation will take time and investment, as well as meaningful partnerships between public and private sectors. Successful relationships exist now, and new ones are anticipated, but only if the funds are in place. It is in the state’s best interest to support workforce training for new and existing businesses.
George Walker, former president of Delta Wire in Clarksdale, and co-chair, of the State Workforce Development Council, told the Mississippi Business Journal last week that funding has remained stable for workforce training for the past several years. But the demand for training has increased significantly.
“The demand for training has increased with business economic expansions,” Walker said. “Therefore, on a relative basis, we have fallen behind. But in the actual number of dollars, we are even.”
A bright and prosperous future for every Mississippian will only be possible when our children — and adults — have the knowledge and skills to take advantage of the economic opportunities available to them.
Solid funding and successful programs for workforce training initiatives must be a priority in Mississippi.