The Mississippi Economic Council is working to position the state to be more attractive to businesses looking to build or relocate. Chief Operating Officer, Scott Waller says, states that have a readily available pool of money to train workers and help upgrade their skills are appealing to companies. He cites a report that found it's the number one issue for businesses. Waller says the money to pay for a workforce development training program wouldn't come from the general fund.
"This is money that's currently being paid by employers in the state into our workforce unemployment trust fund. That trust fund is solvent. In fact, it's actually has a little more money in it than it currently needs. The proposal over the next two years, a portion of that money would be diverted, not what's currently in there but what's going in there would be diverted into this workforce training fund." said Waller.
Waller says, the measure passed the house and is now in the senate. Senator Hillman Frazier, a Democrat, believes the bill has a good chance of passing,
"We are trying to make life better for our people by creating a very strong business environment and this is a step in the right direction, so they can have a very good trained and trainable employees in their businesses." said Frazier
Senator Frazier says, if the bill passes the senate, it will go to conference, where both house and senate members will review the measure before sending it to the governor.