JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Governor Tate Reeves (R-Miss.) announced plans to boost jobs and the state’s economy on Wednesday.

The governor hopes workforce planning in the age of COVID-19 would help create meaningful work. He signed Senate Bill 2564 this year to help tackle the state’s workforce shortage. The bill helped create the office for workforce development, known as AccelerateMS.

“I refuse to allow anything less than to accomplish our full potential,” said Reeves.

Mississippi would be divided into eight regions or “ecosystems.” The regions would be tasked under three pillars; customizable training, horizon thinking and workforce triage.

“If you have a really strong workforce region, program, our goal is to help enhance it, fund it, grow it,” the governor stated.

The goal of the data-driven approach, with the help of partnerships, is to move the needle for a well-prepared workforce.

“Moving on from here, we will identify other key industry sectors that have a desperate or emergent need, and community college partners that give additional resources can help grow those pathways or pipelines,” said Ryan Miller, executive director of AccelerateMS.

The governor also announced Robin Stewart has been appointed the Interim Executive Director of the Mississippi Department of Employment Security (MDES). She will replace Jackie Turner, who recently announced her retirement effective September 30, 2021. Currently, Stewart serves as the Deputy Executive Director, Chief Operating Officer, Workforce at MDES.

“Robin currently serves as the Deputy Executive Director of Workforce Programs and oversees all MDES staff in WIN Job Centers throughout the state, and I am pleased that she has accepted this interim appointment,” said Reeves. “Her over 30 years of service at MDES overseeing workforce programs makes her well-qualified and demonstrates the dedication she has for helping Mississippians get jobs.”