Governor Phil Bryant has signed House Bill 932, a measure that will provide $8 million more to the Workforce Enhancement Training Fund. The WET fund is used by community colleges to provide training for jobs and skills that employers have identified as being in demand.
"For Mississippi to compete in a global marketplace, we must have a skilled workforce," Gov. Bryant said. "This legislation helps maintain the integrity of the Workforce Enhancement Training Fund without increasing the burden on employers and will ensure that training is available for jobs that are in demand in our state."
The measure will generate the additional job training money for one year by reducing the unemployment tax while increasing the WET Fund tax by an equivalent amount. The net effect on employers, who pay the taxes, will be zero. The decrease in unemployment taxes will be further offset by more than $14 million in fraudulently obtained unemployment benefits MDES has recovered.
"The $8 million dollars secured from the WET fund will have an immediate benefit for Mississippi employers who depend on community colleges for workforce training," Dr. Clyde Muse, President of Hinds Community College said. "Access to these newly recovered funds is a testament to Governor Bryant's commitment to building a stronger Mississippi workforce by supporting education and workforce initiatives that equip Mississippi workers with skills that produce a family-sustaining wage."
"Because of this innovative legislation, more money will be available to train Mississippians for good-paying, high-demand jobs," MDES Executive Director Mark Henry said.
The Mississippi Department of Employment Security drafted HB 932 and worked with the Legislature to pass the bill.