In accordance with the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), the State of Mississippi is divided into local workforce development areas for the purpose of carrying out the programs funded under the Act. The Act promotes local planning and service delivery as the best mechanism for identifying and meeting workforce skill gaps and needs. There are four (4) workforce areas in the State, each of which is overseen and administered by a fiscal agent. Four (4) of the State’s ten Planning and Development Districts serve as fiscal agents to the four (4) workforce areas. CMPDD is the fiscal agent for the Southcentral MS Works (SMW) Workforce Development Area, and is responsible for the planning of the workforce programs offered throughout the area and for the fiscal integrity of the WIOA funds. Although the CMPDD provides many other services to the seven (7) counties in its District, its fiscal agent responsibilities for the SMW workforce area includes seventeen counties in the southwestern quarter of the state.
WIOA provides funds for a number of workforce–related employment and training programs and services aimed at enabling individuals to acquire the skills needed to connect with employment, as well as financial assistance to employers looking for qualified workers. The Southcentral MS Works Local Workforce Development Area’s programs, services, and activities are planned and overseen by both a Local Workforce Development Board (LWDB) and a Board of Commissioners (BOC). The LWDB is composed of a majority of business and industry leaders appointed through a process of nominations, while the BOC is composed of one county supervisor from each of the workforce area’s 17 counties. These boards jointly develop policy governing WIOA programs, services, and activities, while CMPDD’s Workforce Division staff handle the day-to-day duties of implementing the policies and working with various WIOA service providers to ensure that US Department of Labor (USDOL) performance mandates are met. The goal of all WIOA workforce programs is to connect individuals with permanent employment that pays a self-sufficient wage. The USDOL evaluates each workforce area and each state based on that criteria by assessing the individual’s employment status six (6) months after their participation in the WIOA program and again 12 months after their participation. In addition, the median wage of all individuals who participated in WIOA programs is calculated against an established baseline.
CMPDD and the SMW Workforce area has long exhibited positive performance by meeting or exceeding the established performance goals. The majority of the workforce area’s employment and training programs and services are accessed through a network of seven (7) WIN Job Centers located throughout the area. Any job seeker needing services or training should visit a WIN Job Center. Employers needing services may contact a WIN Job Center or staff of the CMPDD Workforce Division.