ELLISVILLE, Miss.—In front of a crowd of enthusiastic college educators, Mississippi Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves announced his plan to make Mississippi a "Ready to Work" state. It includes $75 million for career-training programs at colleges, would cap college-tuition costs for some students pursuing bachelor's degrees, and bring computer-science classes to K-12 classrooms across the state.
"We need the next generation of Mississippi workers to be equipped to take on any job," the Republican candidate for governor told the crowd at Jones College on Tuesday. "With the right training, I believe Mississippians could do that job."
The proposal would involve a $100-million state investment, including $1 million to help high-school students earn more college credits and industry credentials; $20 million "to help families get up on their feet and ready to work by dealing with many of the issues that our neighbors face today like childcare and transportation"; and $1.5 million to bring more computer science classes to K-12 schools.
'Ready to Work'
The candidate's plan would make Mississippi eligible for grants under the federal Ready to Work initiative, which helps long-term unemployed people gain job training skills for employment. It involves collaborations between employers, nonprofit organizations and federal job training programs.
Reeves' proposal would help localities across the state earn Ready to Work certification, he said. Mississippi's sister state to the east, Alabama, already has a Ready to Work program, which its community college system operates.
"We must shift our approach to today's changing landscape," he said. "We need to prepare our children for the future by exposing every Mississippi student to computer science or coding courses by graduation."
The program, he said, would help Mississippians "find a calling," and "not just a job."
"Work is good," he said. "It's good for your family. It's good for your state. Work is good for the soul. I want everyone