Ready to Work

$100M for a Modern Mississippi Workforce

Work is changing. The jobs that paid well 50 years ago are not as strong today, and skilled trades are soaring. We need the next generation of Mississippi workers to be equipped to take on any job. With the right training, they can. I’ve laid out a bold investment strategy—$100 million for a modern Mississippi workforce. With this plan, Mississippi can become a “Ready to Work” state and attract investment from all over the world. Here’s what I propose:

$2.5 million in grants to assist local communities in becoming certified as “work ready.”

$1 million investment in incentives for high school graduates to earn industry credentials.

$20 million grant program to help working families get up on their feet and ready to work by dealing with issues like childcare and transportation.

$1.5 million investment to train the next generation of Mississippi coders in software development at K-12 schools.

$75 million investment in community colleges to modernize their workforce training capabilities.

But it’s not just investment:

We need to prepare our kids for jobs of the future by exposing every Mississippi student to computer science and/or coding courses before graduation.

We need to create a $20,000 flat fee for bachelor’s degrees in high-growth industry programs. This will allow students to enter the workforce faster, with less debt, and in an industry that will provide good work for fair pay.

We need to standardize our dual credit programs so that a high school student can earn college credit for more classes they take.

We need to let students earn credits towards high school graduation when they take career technical courses that prepare them for the workforce.

We need to change the culture.

Work is good—it’s good for your family, state, and soul. I want everyone in Mississippi to have the chance to work an honest job for good pay. In order for that to happen, we need to make Mississippi a “Ready to Work” State. With these investments and policy changes, I think we can accomplish that in the coming years. We will attract investment, grow jobs, and help Mississippians find a calling. It will be hard work, but it will be worth it. When more Mississippi families have food on the table—food that they paid for with their strong salary that they earned at a job they love—then we’ll know we were successful.