Secretary of State's business survey reveals need for better edu - - The News for South Mississippi

Secretary of State's business survey reveals need for better educated workforce

JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Mississippi businesses are revealing what most helps and hurts and their progress. Nearly 2,000 businesses answered a set of questions from the Secretary of State's office. Their answers provide a better picture of the problems for starting, maintaining, and growing their businesses.

"If you had an educated workforce would you expand your business in Mississippi today?" asked Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann. "And the answer, an overwhelming yes. What we're seeing here is that our Mississippi businesses are ready to expand. What's holding them back?"

The most popular answer on the survey was an educated workforce. And the lack of that is apparently having a domino effect in the business community.

"We want employers to be able to find somebody to work for them in three months or less," said Hosemann. "Not take six months or a year to find the person they're looking for."

Still, the results show the search for qualified employees took three months or more for nearly half of the businesses. Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann makes it clear that having a better-educated workforce isn't about waiting till folks get a traditional diploma or get hired.

"We need to change our thought process that we are educating our workforce beginning at kindergarten, all the way through the community college system. It's a change in the paradigm," added Hosemann. "Not that we're going to go train them after they get out of high school. I want to go back. I want to start way back."

Hosemann notes that he's seen more school districts in the state moving toward incorporating technical training and collaborating with the junior colleges.

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