Mississippi’s State Workforce Investment Board (SWIB) has a clear and focused mission statement: To develop and implement a strategy to maximize the state’s education, training, and employment service resources in support of economic development.
SWIB has adopted three broad goals to help achieve its mission:
- Install an accountability system to track system-wide results and funding.
- Consolidate workforce training efforts and reduce redundancy and administration.
- Involve businesses in defining training needs.
SWIB has been working to consolidate and strengthen the state’s workforce development system and make it more efficient, customer-friendly, and demand-driven. SWIB has also developed and implemented a statewide performance management system, the Integrated Longitudinal Education and Workforce Performance Management System, that allows for the collection and analysis of education, training, and placement data across all public workforce and education service providers throughout Mississippi – including the community and junior college system, the state’s largest training provider.
SWIB is committed to building on its accomplishments and has focused on alleviating the shortage of qualified workers the state is projected to experience. This shortage must be addressed by looking inside Mississippi. The state must reclaim more of its nonparticipating labor force. High school dropout rates must be reduced, and adults without high school education must be given a chance to earn GEDs. Mississippi must also bolster assistance to ex-offenders, welfare recipients, and disabled individuals with special training and placement services so that they can become productive workers. This strategic plan calls for even closer alignment of all public workforce and education programs to produce more effective results through common goals. In addition, Mississippi must look outside its borders and attract workers from other states.
SWIB has also placed greater emphasis on workforce system services to businesses, especially small businesses and entrepreneurs.