News Release

Mississippi Receives $2.7 Million to Improve Workforce Data

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June 21, 2017

Jackson, MS --- The Mississippi Department of Employment Security (MDES) won $2.7 Million from the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) for an innovative initiative to provide policy makers with real-time data concerning workforce development in our state. Mississippi is the first state ever to receive this grant.

MDES will use these funds to connect the programs that enable Mississippians to obtain career training and find good jobs with the education and employment information in Mississippi’s advanced State Longitudinal Data System (SLDS).

“Connecting the SLDS data with our employment, training and supportive services will empower Mississippi to make better decisions about workforce development,” said Mark Henry, MDES Executive Director. “We can track the progress of Mississippians who complete training and get jobs in the state, and then concentrate on the most successful programs to ensure that we are using the taxpayers’ dollars in the most efficient and effective way.”

Mississippi continues to be a pioneer in the workforce development technology field. MDES was the first state workforce agency to develop a mobile app that employers can use to find qualified workers, and that workers can use to find jobs. The agency also launched a mobile app that allows people to perform their weekly certification for unemployment benefits using their phone. In addition, Mississippi leads the first state consortium to successfully launch a multi-state unemployment insurance technology project.

According to Henry, “MDES’s success with our other technology initiatives was the key to Mississippi becoming the first state to receive this type of grant.”

Mississippi was also the first state to submit a state workforce plan, as required by the new federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, and was the first state to have its state plan approved by USDOL.