County backs workforce readiness

By BUSTER WOLFE,

Lamar County District 1 Supervisor Steve Lampton will join a team of leaders representing government, K-12 education, workforce, economic development and the business community as part of an initiative to provide certification for county workforce.

Supervisors voted for Lampton to join a core committee that was being discussed by the Area Development Partnership during their meeting last week at the William J. “Pete” Gamble Chancery Courthouse in Purvis. 

Daniel Jayroe, ADP community development director, presented the ACT Work Ready Communities Initiative to the supervisors.

“The ACT Work Ready Communities program is a workforce credentialing program for counties throughout the United States to become work-ready certified,” he said. “This is the same company that produces the test for many students to go to four-year colleges and universities. They also produce the testing for WorkKeys, the national career readiness certifications.

“Those are beneficial for the students going from high schools straight into the workforce, from community colleges into the workforce and then underemployed and unemployed looking for jobs here locally. What this program does is really credentialize our counties.”

Jayroe said the program not only helps people looking for jobs, but also for the recruitment and expansion process.

“It’s also good for current employers who are looking to expand their current workforce and are looking to hire folks,” he said. “This can be used as a pre-employment screening process. It slows turnover for employers as they are hiring because it gives employers the ability to see the skills the person has based on the steps of the process ahead of time.”

Jayroe said ADP is partnering with Pearl River Community College on this process.

“We are certifying Forrest County at the same time,” he said. “There is no type of monetary involvement at the moment unless down the road you wanted to provide scholarships for students taking the WorkKeys exam. These come at about $35 apiece. Unemployed people can take the test for free because they are seeking employment, but for high schoolers there is that $35 fee. We are going to try our best to mitigate that by getting sponsors.”

Lamar County Administrator Joseph “Jody” Waits attended a meeting with ADP officials about the program. He said it is worthwhile.

“There seems to be a pledge from the school systems – high school and junior college – to embrace this,” he said. “Many are already doing this. When a student comes out and has a different credential and says, ‘Here’s my work readiness score.’ That is valuable, because there are several employers in the city that are already using this. I would also like to talk later about the county using this an employee tool.”

Jayroe said county officials hoped to have the application completed by the end of the week.

In other business Monday, the board:

Heard from Allie Harris of Schneider Electric, which has been conducting an energy-saving plan for the chancery courthouse and the tax office. The first option would cost $1.7 million and save $880,000 over 20 years. The second option, which would include lighting, would cost $2.5 million and save $2.6 million over 20 years. The supervisors made no decision.

Emlyn Jackson of the South Mississippi Planning and Development District showed the Lamar County Board of Supervisors a map that the district is using in economic development. Jackson asked the board to look over two maps and give their feedback on how they want the land to be developed. 

•          Approved the June 21 Board Minutes.
•          Quit Without Notice: Roy Roberts, Sanitation effective June 19.
•          Termination: Jenna Rigaud, Dispatch effective June 26.
•          New Hire: Ziashae M. Cooper, Sanitation Temporary/Full-Time Hopper effective July 2 at $10.50 per hour.
•          Approved the Culvert Report.
•          Approved the Form 2 Report.
•          Ordered publication of proceedings.
•          Approved the June 2018 End of the Month Docket.
•          Approved paying the July 2018 Claims Docket.
•          Approved paying the July 2018 monthly civil and criminal claims for constables.
•          Received and entered clerk's report of receipts and expenditures from the preceding calendar month.
•          Received and entered sheriff’s report of expenditures incurred during the preceding calendar month.
•          Received and entered tax assessor/collector's report of expenditures incurred during the preceding calendar month.
•          Approved paying lawful expenses for Director Rosemary Ezell to participate in and attend the Caliber Client Advisory Board Annual Meeting, July 25 and 26 in Indianapolis, Ind.
•          Approved advertising county resources $2,000 with the Purvis Band to be paid from D2 and D3 Parks and Recreation funds.
•          Approved transferring $69,705 from fund 680 (Workers Comp Fund) to fund 001 (General Fund) per Auditors recommendation.
•          Approved transferring $43,403 from fund 680 (Workers Comp Fund) to fund 150 (Road Fund) per Auditors recommendation.
•          Approved transferring $489 from fund 680 (Workers Comp Fund) to fund 020 (Drug Court Fund) per Auditors recommendation.
•          Approved transferring $688 from fund 680 (Workers Comp Fund) to fund 031 (DUI Grant Fund) per Auditors recommendation.
•          Approved transferring $641 from fund 680 (Workers Comp Fund) to fund 061 (Mosquito Control Fund) per Auditors recommendation.
•          Approved transferring $282 from fund 680 (Workers Comp Fund) to fund 096 (Reappraisal Fund) per Auditors recommendation.
•          Approved transferring $744 from fund 680 (Workers Comp Fund) to fund 097 (E-911 Operation Fund) per Auditors recommendation.
•          Approved transferring $13,025 from fund 680 (Workers Comp Fund) to fund 105 (Sanitation Fund) per Auditors recommendation.
•          Approved transferring $5,875 from fund 680 (Workers Comp Fund) to fund 121 (Fu-e Coordination Fund) per Auditors recommendation.
•          Approved transferring $39 from fund 680 (Workers Comp Fund) to fund 125 (Lumberton Fire Department Fund) per Auditors recommendation.
•          Approved transferring $20,789 from fund 680 (Workers Comp Fund) to fund 160 (Countywide Bridge Fund) per Auditors recommendation.
•          Approved transferring $725.98 from fund 160 (Bridge Fund) to fund 150 (Countywide Road Fund) per Auditors recommendation.
•          Approved reimbursing District 3 Parks and Recreation from County Wide Road Fund in the amount of $3,680 for materials.
•          Approved issuing payment from Forfeiture Fund to the following to cover expenses with the sale of Lewis property: Perry W. Phillips ($2163.00), National Land Realty ($26,000.00) and The Walker Associates ($5000.00).
•          Status Change: Michael Shannon from Deputy to DUI Officer effective June 25, no change in pay.
•          New Hire: Phillip Humphrey, Deputy effective July 3 at $16.90 per hour.
•          New Hire: Adam Bush, Lunacy Sitter effective July 11 at $15.05 per hour.
•          New Hire: Jason Ladner, Jailer/Guard effective July 9 at $15.05 per hour.
•          Received and entered Proof of Publication for Federal Emergency Management Agency Public Notice regarding Acquisition and Demolition of Substantially Damaged Properties in Lamar County MS for FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant Program No. 4268.
•          Rate Change: Mike Watts, Southeast effective July 2 from $18.50 per hour to $18.75 per hour for the completion of Fire Investigator 1033 Training.
•          Approved the asset deletion list as submitted and disposed of as indicated on the attached inventory deletion form.
•          Approved accepting the donation of land from Mike McMahan at the Intersection of Hartfield Road and Weathersby Road. The land is valued at $75,000.
•          Approved changes in Assessments as submitted by the Tax Collector/Assessor.
•          Approved changes in Homestead as submitted by the Tax Collector/Assessor.
•          Approved Tax Sale Cancellations as submitted by the Tax Collector/Assessor.
•          Received and entered the 2018 Real and Personal Tax Rolls from the Tax Assessors Office. The Board of Supervisors will begin equalization.
•          Received and entered certification that Jack Smith Tax Assessor/Collector is in compliance with Mississippi Code 27-35-127 per notice from the Mississippi Department of Revenue.
•          Approved a variance of the front setback requirement to place a dumpster on property located at 4 Orleans Drive. The Planning Commission forwarded a recommendation for approval. The vote was 5-0. The property is in Supervisor District 4.
•          Approved the development permit, with limitations as outlined in the site plan review, for Fourth & Fifth Properties, LLC to construct the site located at 4 Orleans Drive, located in District 4.
•          Approved accepting the roads, in Lost Orchard PH IV, for maintenance by the County.
•          Approved releasing Bond No. 106318429 on Lost Orchard PH IV roads.
•          Received and entered a Road Petition to close a 950-foot portion of Paradise Lane in District 2.
•          Approved setting a public hearing to close a 950-foot portion of Paradise Lane.
•          Approved advertising a public hearing to close a 950-foot portion of Paradise Lane.
•          Approved amending the Road Registry to correct the length of B&0 Thompson Road. The correct length is 1,650 feet.
•          Approved buying 1 .6 acres of land that was under option for the soccer field in Sumrall for $18,000 to be paid from Fund 015, District 5 Parks & Recreation. 

The next Board of Supervisors meeting will be at 9 a.m. July 19 at the William J. “Pete” Gamble Chancery Courthouse in Purvis.