Thousands of Mississippi business owners are saying the lack of workforce education affects their operations, according to a recent survey. MPB's Ashley Norwood reports.
More than 1800 small business owners are revealing their most common challenges in a recent survey by the Secretary of State's office. Almost 75 percent said they are struggling to find an educated workforce and it's affecting the growth of their business.
"We have got to have an educated workforce in Mississippi. Without that, we won't have employers expanding. Forty percent of these companies, 2,000 Mississippi companies said they'd expand today if they had an educated workforce," said Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann.
Hosemann says more kindergarten through 12th-grade schools are incorporating technical skills training. He says to resolve the issue most small business owners are facing, much of his collaboration will be with Mississippi's community colleges.
"They need to be integrated with our community colleges and we need to provide an educated workforce because 70% of our people will never get a college degree. But, they'll make a good living if they have a good technical skill," said Hosemann.
Kell Smith with the Mississippi Community College Board says they are asking legislators to fund almost $16 million in fiscal year 2019 to provide career technical programs and workforce training.
"The future of Mississippi's economy depends on middle-skilled jobs. Those jobs are the ones that require more than a high school diploma but not a bachelor's degree. The community colleges are filling those gaps through career tech programs," said Smith.
There are about 100,000 limited liability companies and 50,000 incorporations in the state.