Reminder: The study will begin today.
A group of economic development organizations in Central Mississippi are combining forces to conduct a comprehensive analysis of the workforce and identify target business sectors. The Kosciusko Attala Partnership (KAP), the Leake County Economic Development Association, the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, and the Winston County Economic Development District Partnership are collaborating to create this key economic development tool for the region. The Central Electric Power Association and the Tennessee Valley Authority are providing assistance. Local residents and businesses are being called on to help.
“This project will help position our region to compete in the global economy for the best economic development opportunities and jobs,” said Kel McDowell, KAP Chief Executive Officer. “In the short term, this data will assist existing businesses in finding qualified available workers. It will also help workforce agencies match workers with jobs and training programs. Long term, this project will provide planning data to prepare the workforce for the new economy, which requires higher skills.”
This study, in which KAP is partnering locally with Kosciusko Water & Light, Attala County Board of Supervisors, and the City of Kosciusko, will include a labor supply survey to be conducted among working-age people via brief (approximately two minutes) personal interviews at numerous local retail sites.
The survey of local residents will identify key workforce information including:
- Occupation skills and education levels
- Untapped labor resources (people ready to re-enter the workforce)
- The extent of underemployment and part-time work in the workforce
- Interest in training and preferred fields of training
- Areas where the workforce out-performs other regions
“Workforce skills and availability are the top factors for businesses selecting a location for a new facility or expansion. To create quality job opportunities and to meet the needs of industry, communities must understand their workforce,” said McDowell.
Survey teams will be at multiple locations in the region, Thursday, September 14 and Saturday, Sept. 16 conducting brief in-person interviews with area residents. The survey takes only a couple of minutes to complete but gathers very important information about workers and job skills available in the region. Names are not collected and survey responses are completely anonymous.
“To achieve the greatest level of success, we need the help of individuals in the community,” said McDowell. “We ask everyone, regardless of your employment status, between the ages of 18 and 65 to stop and talk to the survey team when they are in our area.”
Younger Associates, based in Jackson and Memphis, TN is the economic development research firm conducting the study. Younger Associates is nationally recognized for their high quality and effectiveness of the workforce and targeting initiatives they produce.
For more information about either the survey or the study, contact KAP at (662) 289-2981.
Audio: Kel McDowell, Kosciusko Attala Partnership President /CEO