Governor Signs Workforce Bill

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Gov. Haley Barbour was signed a bill into law Tuesday that is designed to consolidate and improve workforce training in Mississippi by moving most of it to community colleges.

"We have had workforce development fractured in our state to the point that it was hard for employers to navigate, hard for potential employees to get in to the system," said Barbour. "So what we have done is we have streamlined it, integrated it, so there is not but one state board anymore. To try to get a literal one stop shopping."

It also dissolves the Mississippi Employment Security Commission and moves its duties into the executive branch.

Through the legislation, supporters say tax credits would be available to companies that provide their own workforce training, while the state's 15 junior colleges would have responsibility for providing most workforce training.

Barbour signed the bill during a visit to Meridian. It will also create a 33-member workforce investment board to oversee the workforce training program.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.