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IN, MS Announce Workforce Initiatives to Support State Competitiveness, Job Creation

April 07, 2016

To drive state competitiveness and job creation, Indiana and Mississippi announced new efforts to engage regional institutions of higher education and other organizations to provide workers with the skills that match the needs of existing industry as well as attract new business and industry to their state. Through the Indiana Department of Workforce Development (DWD), the state will commit $22 million to fund industry-led regional partnerships aimed at aligning education and workforce needs. Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant announced the creation of a new workforce training fund to allow state leaders to allocate dollars toward workforce training with a focus on recruiting new business to the state. 

Indiana

Over the last two months, the state announced the winners of the first round of Skill UP Indiana! and is now accepting applications for the second round of the program. Via these two rounds of funding, the state will commit up to $22 million to encourage the development of sector-focused training and education programs for in-demand occupations as well as teach necessary workforce skills and competencies as identified by local employers.

In the first round of funding, the state committed $11 million funding to support regional, industry-led workforce partnerships that include businesses, K-12 and post-secondary education entities, Career and Technical Education (CTE) centers, adult education programs, workforce training providers, economic development partners, and local government units. For the second round of funding, the state will provide up to $11 million in funding for similar workforce efforts across the state.

Indiana requires a private match of 25 percent, which may include in-kind contributions or services of up to 10% of total project cost. Through these industry-led regional partnerships, the state hopes to better align education and workforce needs as well as increase the educational attainment of the state’s residents. More information is available at: http://www.in.gov/activecalendar/EventList.aspx?fromdate=3/1/2016&todate=3/31/2016&display=&type=public&eventidn=244507&view=EventDetails&information_id=240456.

Mississippi

In March, Gov. Bryant signed State Workforce Bill (SB 2808) to establish the Mississippi Works Fund – a new fund that allows state leaders to allocate dollars toward specialized workforce training that supports the state’s industries and businesses. Supported by the unemployment taxes currently paid by businesses operating in state, the Mississippi Workforce Fund will allocate 75 percent toward new job creation efforts with the remaining 25 percent of the funds allocated to existing workforce and workforce certification. The state’s community college system will provide Mississippi residents with specialized training that meets of the needs of industry.

In addition to supporting the workforce needs of existing industry, the state intends to use the fund to be “proactive, rather than reactive, when recruiting new business and industry.” To support recruitment, the Mississippi Development Authority will have ability to direct funds as part of recruitment and expansion packages for new and existing companies. More information is available at: http://www.governorbryant.com/governor-phil-bryant-moves-workforce-training-forward-with-approval-of-senate-bill-2808/.

Indiana, Mississippiworkforce