A recent survey by the Secretary of State’s Office of almost 100,000 business owners revealed common hurdles to starting a business, investing, and expanding operations in Mississippi. Chief among them: continued lack of an educated workforce.
More than 1,800 business owners responded to the survey, which included nine questions focused on business needs, employee qualifications, and Mississippi business barriers.
“We need more jobs, higher wages, and greater opportunities for all Mississippians, but the message businesses are sending us is clear. We will fail to accomplish these goals if we do not have an educated workforce,” Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann said. “The main thing needs to stay the main thing—an educated workforce.”
Among other revelations, the survey shows:
· About 75 percent of Mississippi businesses find it moderately to significantly difficult to find an educated workforce;
· It takes more than 47 percent of businesses three months to a year (or more) to find a qualified employee for an open position;
· About 45 percent of current businesses said they would expand in Mississippi if they had an educated workforce;
· More than 70 percent of businesses said new hires must be somewhat to very technically skilled to their business;
· More than 45 percent of businesses require employees to hold a two-year degree or higher;
· About 55 percent of businesses offer educational incentives, like on-the-job training or tuition support, to employees; and
· More than 30 percent of businesses said an educated workforce is most important to their business, and 20 percent said community support was most important.
“We have traveled all over our State to visit elementary to high schools, and I sense the movement of our educators to provide not only basic education but also technical training,” Secretary Hosemann said. “More and more of this collaboration will be with our junior college system to fulfill the now obvious current and future need for an educated workforce.”
The Secretary of State’s Office is responsible for managing the corporate documents of more than 175,000 LLCs, corporations, and limited partnerships. Businesses are surveyed on a variety of topics intermittently throughout the year. Results are used to address economic development tools like Y’all Business (www.yallbusiness.sos.ms.gov), a website offering free consumer and demographic information to burgeoning businesses, and are shared with 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