First State in the Nation to Submit Plan
JACKSON—The State of Mississippi has submitted its Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) plan for review to the U.S. Department of Labor and is the first state in the nation to do so. Unique to each state, the WIOA plans are designed to strengthen the national workforce by bringing all stakeholders together at the state-level to create an integrated workforce system.
“The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act plan we have submitted will improve Mississippi’s existing workforce system by making the entire process more streamlined for everyone involved,” Gov. Phil Bryant said. “By bringing all the relevant state agencies and workforce stakeholders together during this process we have submitted a plan that will close the middle-skill job gap and increase workforce participation rates. This will help Mississippi employers fill openings and also show prospective companies looking to locate in Mississippi that we are committed to a strong workforce and are open for business.”
At the request of Gov. Bryant, the process of getting Mississippi’s Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act plan submitted to the U.S. Department of Labor was headed up by the State Workforce Investment Board with input from the public, business community, workforce stakeholders, and educational institutions.
“This workforce plan represents a significant opportunity for Mississippi to pull together all our stakeholders in workforce development and work in ways that haven’t been seen in the past,” Chair of the State Workforce Investment Board Jay Moon said. “The performance measures that are in the Mississippi WIOA plan will also allow us to monitor and improve our process as we move forward. This will help us to make sure we are always advancing our outcomes and utilizing our resources in the best possible manner. I thank everyone that was involved in the development of the plan and for their valuable input.”
Objectives of the Mississippi WIOA plan include:
• Strategic vision among all workforce stakeholders
• Close the middle-skill job gap
• Increase workforce participation rates
• To be a vehicle for economic development by connecting job seekers in real-time with economic opportunities
• To meet the recruitment needs of current and prospective businesses
On July 22, 2014, the WIOA was signed into law by the 113th Congress requiring each state to submit their workforce plan to the U.S. Department of Labor by March 2016. The Mississippi WIOA plan was open for public comment for 30 days before it was submitted and will be made available to the public again once it is given final approval.