Mississippi Public Broadcasting welcomed Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann as the guest speaker for its Workforce Wednesday Luncheon April 17 at MPB.
Workforce Wednesdays are monthly luncheons held every third Wednesday in the MPB Education area. In addition to networking, participants get information about workforce development including mentoring programs, apprenticeships, work-based learning and soft skills. At least 35 individuals representing a variety of job sectors, including veterans affairs, education, employment security, state government and more, attended the event.
Secretary Hosemann presented information on workforce education specific to Mississippi based on his office’s Y’all Business research. Attendees learned that Mississippi businesses consider having an educated workforce and community support as the top two most important needs for success. The ability to offer state and local incentives ranked No. 11 for businesses, indicating the desire to “not give money away.”
The research also showed that 50 percent of businesses in the state today would expand if they had an educated workforce. And the qualities most important in an educated workforce were work ethic, honesty and communication, which collectively fall under soft skills. Other topics included how to retain an educated workforce with reasonable wages and employment opportunities as well as how business need to better connect with K-12 schools so students are aware of employment needs and opportunities.
Hosemann also answered questions from participants concerning attracting big businesses to Mississippi and the impact it could have on small businesses, Mississippi’s unemployment rate and the hiring of veterans and military personnel.
Workforce Wednesdays are a part of MPB’s American Graduate: Getting to Work initiative to help advance education and career readiness locally. MPB works with partners across the state to assess workforce challenges, determine opportunities, produce content on career paths and skills needed for students and workers.
The next event will be held May 15, and is open to the public with limited seating. Registration is required. Visit gettingtowork.mpbonline.org for more information.