JACKSON, Miss. (Mississippi Today) – The Mississippi Department of Employment Security has secured a $2.5 million federal grant to improve the state’s employment and workforce data.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s employment and training administration heads the grant program, which helps states grow databases to examine whether education programs lead to jobs, if jobseekers are selecting training-related positions, and the impact of training on workers’ wages.
“The grant will allow us to improve the quality and breadth of data in Mississippi’s mature state longitudinal data system,” Mississippi employment office spokeswoman Dianne Bell said in a statement.
Bell also said the funds will allow the state to better evaluate its job training programs by adding information from unemployment insurance wage records.
The grant comes as the state plans to double down on addressing labor shortfalls with a new workforce development office. Ryan Miller, a former program director at the University of Mississippi, began as the office’s first executive director in the spring.