A new survey of almost 100,000 Mississippi businesses revealed promising workforce development news: many businesses are providing internship opportunities, donating resources to classrooms, or otherwise engaging with educational entities in their communities.

Additionally, almost 400 respondents indicated they are interested in partnering with area schools, and provided contact and other follow-up information to the Secretary of State’s Office.  The Agency is working now to connect these business entities with K-12 schools, skilled trades programs, and other like-organizations as part of a broader effort to fulfill the State’s future workforce needs.

 “Every child in Mississippi deserves the opportunity to receive a quality education and find meaningful work.  Realizing this dream, though, requires us to do more than talk about the challenges in our State’s education system and the lack of ready-to-work graduates,” Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann said. “We need our businesses and schools to work alongside each other to prepare the workforce of the future.”

More than 5,300 LLCs, LPs, and corporations provided feedback for this most recent Secretary of State survey, the third installment of a series of questionnaires recently sent to Mississippi businesses related to workforce needs.  More than 96 percent of the responses were from businesses with less than 50 employees.

Among other responses, the survey shows:

·         Employers most value soft skills in employees including work ethic, honesty, and communication skills;

·         Marketing and networking are the areas in which economic development entities can most help small businesses; and

·         Most businesses believe economic opportunity, reasonable wages, and top-rated public schools are the keys to retaining an educated workforce in their communities.

The Secretary of State’s Office is responsible for managing the corporate documents of about 175,000 LLCs, corporations, and limited partnerships.  Businesses are surveyed on a variety of topics intermittently throughout the year.  Results are used to address business needs and improve economic development tools like Y’all Business (www.yallbusiness.sos.ms.gov), a website developed by the Secretary of State’s Office which offers free consumer and demographic information to burgeoning businesses.  Results are shared with educational entities, business leaders, and economic development and state government stakeholders.

For more information about the Secretary of State’s Business Services Division, visit www.sos.ms.gov/BusinessServices or call (601) 359-1633.

Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann Press Release