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Skills that Pay launched to promote...

Skills that Pay launched to promote jobs in Mississippi’s industries

By: Frank Corder - February 14, 2023

The new campaign from the Skills Foundation aims to bring awareness of the benefits of joining the skilled workforce.

Last week, the Skills Foundation of Mississippi, a non-profit focused on increasing the skilled workforce in the state, kicked off a targeted campaign to educate key stakeholders on the many job opportunities in skilled industries.

The campaign – Skills That Pay – launched in the Hattiesburg market, with plans to expand the effort after this initial undertaking.

According to the Skills Foundation, Mississippi has thousands of high-quality skilled jobs that pay well above average in sectors like advanced manufacturing, energy, transportation and logistics, healthcare, information technology, and construction.

Currently, the Skills Foundation notes that Mississippi is facing a significant shortage of workers in these high-demand industries. The group points to surveys that show students lack awareness of these jobs and have a negative perception of them believing they are low-paying or low-quality careers. However, that is not the case.

“Mississippi has thousands of high-quality skilled jobs that pay well above average – jobs that often do not require a four-year degree, which means less debt, quicker earning potential, and more stability,” said Clifton Carroll, Executive Director of The Skills Foundation. “The Skills That Pay campaign was designed to bring awareness to these opportunities and show the benefits of joining the skilled workforce.”

Carroll said that in laying the groundwork for the campaign, they have talked to numerous students and recent grads, some of whom are making over $50,000 straight out of high school.

“They highlighted perks such as the ability to work all across the country, making money while their peers are still in school, and the potential for quick upward mobility as key factors when considering joining the skilled workforce,” Carroll added.

The group shared research from the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) which highlights that manufacturers in Mississippi account for 16.11% of the total output in the state, employing 12.80% of the workforce. Total output from manufacturing was $18.68 billion in 2019. In addition, there were an average of 146,000 manufacturing employees in Mississippi in 2020, with an average annual compensation of $63,226.12 in 2019.

The bottom-line, the Skills Foundation says, is if you want a good job, stability, and quality of life, making good money, you need skills that pay.

To get that word out, the Skills Foundation will work to engage private industry, communities, and state leaders for true public/private partnerships to grow the pipeline of skilled workers.

Ryan Miller, the Executive Director of AccelerateMS, said his team is thrilled to work with the Skills Foundation and to see the work they are doing.

“This is a much-needed campaign. Parents, teachers, and students should be paying close attention. We want all of our young people to see opportunities for growth, advancement, and career success right here in Mississippi,” Miller said. “The future of our state depends on filling the pipeline of jobs currently available, which will make us more competitive in recruiting new jobs and capital investment.”

Learn more about the Skills That Pay campaign by clicking here.

About the Author(s)
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Frank Corder

Frank Corder is a native of Pascagoula. For nearly two decades, he has reported and offered analysis on government, public policy, business and matters of faith. Frank’s interviews, articles, and columns have been shared throughout Mississippi as well as in national publications such as the Daily Caller. He is a frequent guest on radio and television, providing insight and commentary on the inner workings of the Magnolia State. Frank has served his community in both elected and appointed public office, hosted his own local radio and television programs, and managed private businesses all while being an engaged husband and father. Email Frank: