Governor Tate Reeves has appointed Robert G. “Bob” Anderson, Executive Director of the Mississippi Department of Human Services to serve on the State Workforce Investment Board. The appointment is effective immediately and runs through January 2024.

The mission of SWIB is 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:

  1. Install an accountability system to track system-wide results and funding.
  2. Consolidate workforce training efforts and reduce redundancy and administration.
  3. 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.

“I’m honored that the Governor has entrusted me to serve on a board that is so essential to the state’s livelihood,” Anderson said. “Our mission at MDHS is to provide Mississippians, young and old, tangible help today to provide a lasting hope for tomorrow. The ability to earn a living wage and provide for their families is essential to providing that lasting hope.”

Appointed by the governor to oversee MDHS on March 4, 2020, Anderson’s leadership has led to a robust emphasis on workforce development within the agency. Under his guidance, the MDHS Division of Workforce Development and Partnership Management oversees the Skills2Work program, which allows MDHS to leverage federal funds that can help the state scale career and technical education programs and workforce skills training, so they are more accessible to low-income families.

The SNAP Employment & Training (E&T) Program, Skills2Work, was designed to assist eligible Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) E&T recipients by providing potential tuition assistance and other support services for Adult Basic Education, Career/Technical pathways and/or Workforce Skills Training programs.  The Division of Workforce Development and Partnership Management within MDHS has established Skills2Work partnerships with the following Mississippi community colleges and other workforce skills training partners to provide E&T services to qualified SNAP recipients:

  • Hinds Community College (Hinds CC) offers career/technical programs, workforce skills training programs, Adult Education and Smart Start classes. E&T participants also have access to wrap-around services that will help eliminate barriers to completion.
  • East MS Community College (EMCC) offers Workforce Training programs, Career and Technical Education programs, the MS Works Smart Start Career Pathway Model and Adult Education classes. EMCC also connects participants to support services to help participants complete the training programs.
  • Refill Cafe offers Education/Vocational Training and Work Experience through a holistic approach addressing immediate barriers to employment and provides a year-long commitment to SNAP E&T participants in Hinds, Rankin and Madison counties through eight weeks of classroom instruction, work experience and additional support services.
  • Mississippi Low-Income Child-Care Initiative (MLICCI) serves as a technical assistance resource to childcare providers of low-income, working, single moms, connecting them to Job Search Training, Basic Education, Vocational Training and Job Retention activities, along with support services.
  • Goodwill of South Mississippi (GSM) offers the Goodwill Customer Service Program (GCSP), a two-part training program designed to help entry-level participants gain customer service skills directly related to frontline work in both Harrison and Jackson counties. The GCSP is an 80-hour training program consisting of 60-hours classroom based, instructor-led training and 20-hours work experience at one of Goodwill’s retail stores.

Anderson will join 30 other voting members on the SWIB, a majority of whom represent business and industry within the state as well as the Governor and other designated representatives from state government.

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Release from Mississippi Department of Human Services.