MSPA Section 3 Outreach & Training Activities

Current through April 7, 2022

To further facilitate the Port Authority's commitment to the achievement of the numerical goals for itself and its Contractors and Subcontractors, the Port Authority supports broad outreach, education and training relative to Section 3. The cornerstone of the Port Authority's outreach and training effort is the establishment of the Pathways to the Port Program.

MSPA, in conjunction with the Mississippi Development Authority (the "MDA"), has partnered with the Mississippi Department of Employment Security ("MDES") to recruit and refer eligible applicants, and to provide employers with a one-stop resource for job posting and qualified workers. MDES operates a network of WIN Job Centers which have traditionally been the link between employers and the workforce. The Centers provide applicants with assessment, job search and placement assistance, as well as access to computers and job readiness training. Applicants in need of additional training will be screened and referred to training providers.

MDES has developed the Workforce Investment Global Services or "WINGS", an integrated web solution that can be used by employers to post jobs, find qualified applicants and manage job applications posted in the system. The process is as follows:

* Pathways Program will require all the Program Participants to submit job postings through WINGS for all newly created or replacement positions.

* The WIN Job Center will provide a list of qualified job seekers with preference to low-and very low- income persons.

* MDES will provide the Program participant with the list of qualified job seekers from the WIN Job Center.

* The Pathways to the Port participant will then interview the candidates qualified for the open position and may choose to hire from the list provided if possible. Once the program participant has made a hiring decision regarding the position, the participant shall inform MDES of its decision.

* When a candidate is chosen from the list or another source, the Program participant will complete the Job Applicant Survey Form (substantially in the form set forth in Appendix I) and submit it to the Compliance Officer or its designee for recordkeeping and reporting. .

The Pathways Program will be a focused and accountable model initiative. Applicants will be tracked in the State's performance management system to measure and report on hiring and other outcomes.

Program Outreach:

MSPA jobs outreach program in order to quantify the direct and indirect jobs of contractors and subcontractors resulting from the Port Authority's Section 3 Covered Projects and to make them available to all sections of the community, including low- to very low- income residents.

The entire community in the vicinity of the Port at Gulfport will be targeted. The community shall consist of the MSA.1 However, particular attention will be paid to low- and very low-income persons. The outreach campaign will include purchasing authorities, community-based organizations, WIN Job Centers, libraries, and media resources (e.g., The Sun Herald, WLOX, posting and distributing flyers, a website).

Workforce Training

The State of Mississippi has successfully developed a workforce training system utilizing the resources of the State's network of community colleges, senior colleges, State and local economic development agencies, and related business entities. This system has successfully provided hundreds of citizens, many of whom are low- and very low income- persons, with the job training and related education to find employment with the major manufacturing industries and businesses of the State, including Nissan and Toyota. This system has been nationally recognized for its innovation and abilities to provide a highly skilled workforce for these industries. The Pathways Program will partner this approach with existing state workforce system, to plan, implement and oversee training, recruitment, and hiring needs for the Port and the Program Participants. The Pathways Program will identify the fundamental/core skills needed in order to equip unskilled and under-skilled workers to fill entry-level demand jobs.

The Pathways Program will work with businesses, community colleges, and other training providers as necessary to meet job training needs. Training will be easily accessible, flexible and will be provided at very low or no cost to eligible applicants.

Three key training providers have been identified: (1) the Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, which has three campuses and has offered the use of its West Harrison Center located in Harrison County to be used exclusively for the Pathways Program training; (2) Pearl River Community College, which has campuses in Hancock and Pearl River County; and (3) the Ship Building Academy located in Jackson County.

Existing curriculum will be customized to meet training needs. Training will lead to portable industry recognized credentials. Existing training includes, logistics, diesel equipment and office system technologies; heavy equipment operations; construction skills; OSHA; crane simulation; commercial truck driving and career readiness certificates.

The Compliance Officer will also evaluate Section 3 eligibility based on the data submitted by contractors. The Compliance Officer shall review and have oversight over all certifications.

1 http://www.mississippi.org/assets/docs/maps/msas.pdf

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