When it comes to skilled trade jobs, Mississippi has a culture problem.
It’s a problem that many states across the country are dealing with, but one that, if solved, could significantly move the needle forward in the Magnolia State.
That was the principal message delivered at a gathering of business and community leaders in Jackson this week at the 69th-annual meeting of the Mississippi Economic Council.
Speaking to the group gathered at the Jackson Convention Complex, Peyton Holland, executive director of North Carolina-based Skills USA, said that a shift must occur to get students to realize that obtaining a job skill is just as important as obtaining a four-year or graduate degree.
That’s not to say the obtainment of a more traditional higher education degree is not valuable. However, the stigma attached to the training and certification required for skilled jobs must vanish in order for Mississippi to move forward. The notion that one is more valuable than the other is what drives a narrative that’s leaving opportunities and paychecks open throughout our state.