JACKSON— Governor Tate Reeves announced that a milestone of over 2,000 Mississippians have enrolled in the ReSkill Mississippi initiative (ReSkillMS) within the first 30 days of the program.
ReSkillMS is designed to help ease the economic burden and uncertainty the COVID-19 pandemic has created for our state's workers by providing training at community colleges or on-the-job training. As of Friday, September 5th, a total of 2,071 Mississippians were enrolled and participating in short-term training or on-the-job training made possible through ReSkillMS, and 71 employers were expanding as a result of the program.
“ReSkill Mississippi is already helping thousands of Mississippians. We have expanded training capacity in our community college system, and I encourage any Mississippian wanting a better career to enroll,” said Governor Tate Reeves. “I also encourage more companies to sign up and receive cost assistance for new employees receiving on-the-job training. We must continue to fight this pandemic on the economic front just as aggressively as we are fighting it on the healthcare front.”
ReSkillMS, which was announced on August 5, was created as a direct result of the Governor’s Commission on Economic Recovery's recommendation that significant dollars from the CARES Act recovery funds be used for workforce training to help lift the economic burden on our workforce from the pandemic. The State Workforce Investment Board (SWIB), the Mississippi Department of Employment Security (MDES), and Mississippi’s four local workforce areas collaborated to develop the program. ReSkillMS allows Mississippians out-of-work or those working reduced hours to “re-skill” in order to help prepare them for and fill high-demand, higher paying jobs across our state.
“We have long had more skilled jobs available than people trained to fill them, but this program can help thousands of Mississippians retrain for the skills needed for higher paying jobs," said SWIB Chairman Patrick Sullivan. "I believe this program will play an important role in sustaining a vibrant and growing Mississippi economy, and it is the type of effort that Mississippi should look to continue long after the CARES Act and the COVID-19 pandemic are gone."
The Mississippi Legislature appropriated $55 million of the $1.25 billion in federal relief funds sent to Mississippi under the CARES Act to support our state's workers and employers. Working to maximize those funds, the Governor and a coalition of the state's workforce leaders created ReSkillMS, an innovative new program to train individuals for good-paying jobs most needed right now and into our state's future.
The direct beneficiaries of ReSkillMS are Mississippians furloughed, laid off, or otherwise having economic damages and who received unemployment benefits from MDES, as well as Mississippi employers seeking to hire Mississippians immediately and train them on the job. Employers willing to hire and train individuals in the workplace are eligible to be reimbursed for up to 75% of the individual’s wages during the training period for jobs paying over $15 per hour and for up to 50% for wages under $15 per hour.
Individuals and employers interested in the program should go online to ReSkillMS.com to complete the appropriate survey. An official from Mississippi’s workforce offices nearby will reach out to the individual to guide them through the application process. If individuals have not heard from anyone within seven days of submitting an application, they can email ReSkillMS@mdes.ms.gov to follow up.