Report contains goals and recommendations for economic growth, provides an actionable plan, and creates a pathway for capitalizing on the opportunities that exist for Mississippi.
Today, the Mississippi Economic Council (MEC) released “Securing Mississippi’s Future,” a 56-page report that examines the top issues facing the state’s business community. The findings come following 51 focus-group style meetings in 18 communities across Mississippi with business, community, and elected leaders over a two-month period.
“Without exception, a lack of availability and preparation of qualified workers to meet current and future needs, was of greatest concern across all business sectors,” said Scott Waller, president & CEO of MEC. “While generally optimistic about the business climate, workforce issues were universally troubling as a risk to economic growth and a major hurdle for existing businesses.”
During a press conference at the Capitol on Tuesday, legislative leaders and officials with MEC and Accelerate MS discussed plans for economic growth and provided recommendations in five key categories: Education; Workforce Development and Skills Training; Talent Retention and Attraction; Infrastructure, Economic Development and Business Climate; and Healthcare.
“It is mission critical for everyone to work together to address current and future workforce needs if we are to secure and improve Mississippi’s economy and increase economic opportunity for our citizens and communities,” said Major General Augustus Collins (Ret.), 2021-22 Chair of MEC.
The report states that in an online survey on local business concerns, two out of three survey respondents believed that the business climate was somewhat strong or strong. In a related question, about 60% believed that the economic climate would be even better in a year. Almost 40% listed “lack of qualified workers” as the top issue, with 83% extremely or somewhat worried that a lack of “soft skills” posed a threat to their business.
“Securing Mississippi’s Future” provides goals that includes a set of recommendations for addressing key issues. Below are the five goals that were established:
- Develop a World-Class Workforce to Meet the Needs of Today’s Job Market and the Job Opportunities of the Future
- Grow Our Economy and Population by Increasing the Number of Highly Qualified, Skilled Professionals
- Grow Our Economy by Strengthening Infrastructure
- Strengthen and Expand Mississippi’s Economy through Job Growth
- Articulate the Importance of Healthcare for Today’s Workforce
You can read the full copy of “Securing Mississippi’s Future” below.