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Reeves appoints Patrick Sullivan to chair State Workforce Investment Board



Patrick Sullivan (Photo courtesy Mississippi governor's office)

In his live update Thursday, Gov. Tate Reeves continued on his theme of providing information to viewers other than COVID-19 updates and proclamations. He announced Patrick Sullivan as his appointment for Chairman of the State Workforce Investment Board to ensure Mississippi’s continued workforce development.

SWIB was created to develop and implement Mississippi’s economic strategy to maximize our education, training and employment service resources, balancing the coordination of public and private sectors.

Reeves characterized Sullivan is an “experienced, battle-tested leader capable of leading efforts to invest in workforce training and grow our state’s economy to lift all Mississippi families.”

Sullivan has served as the executive director of the governor’s Office of Recovery and Renewal under former Gov. Haley Barbour, as president of the Mississippi Energy Institute, and as a member of SWIB.

“Workforce development and training have always been my top priorities for our great state. Every Mississippian deserves the chance to work an honest job for good pay,” Reeves said. “The current economic climate presents new challenges for our state, but we are committed to forging ahead for our people and increasing Mississippians take-home pay through business growth and workforce training. Patrick has an impressive record of fostering economic growth and overseeing economic development in our state. I am grateful to have him lead SWIB and bring together the public and private sectors to help move our state forward.”

“Gov. Reeves has identified Mississippi’s mission to start the path towards higher average incomes. The best way to get Mississippians into higher paying jobs is to get more Mississippians qualified for high-pay, high-tech jobs,” Sullivan said. “This is a very achievable, measurable task, but to have success, intensive collaboration between employers, public institutions, and other workforce partners is critical. The mission succeeds when we all succeed. I look forward to the work ahead.”

Reeves made the announcement during Thursday’s news conference, which you can view on our Facebook page.

The governor also discussed the next phase of our state’s efforts to rebuild through investment in our workforce training as we work to come out of this pandemic.

“I am proposing a substantial investment in workforce training facility capacity expansions where our training institutions can quickly upgrade facilities or add equipment to train more Mississippians with skills that lead to higher paying careers,” Reeves said. “The best way to get Mississippians into higher paying jobs is to get more Mississippians qualified for the high-tech, higher paying jobs many businesses demand today. I am asking the legislature to let us use CARES Act funds to help these Mississippians to re-enter the workforce stronger.”

Included in the workforce proposal, Reeves encourages as much on-the-job training opportunities as possible for those out of work and seeking opportunities. For employers willing to start employees at a competitive salary, the governor is proposing to partner with these companies to cover a portion of the wages during the on-the-job training period through the end of 2020.

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