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More than 2,000 Mississippians enrolled in ReSkill workforce training program in 30 days

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Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves announced Thursday that more than 2,000 Mississippians have enrolled in the ReSkill Mississippi initiative within the first 30 days of the program.

ReSkillMS is designed to help ease the economic burden and uncertainty the COVID-19 pandemic has created for our state’s workers by providing training at community colleges or on-the-job training. As of Friday, Sept. 5, 2,071 Mississippians were enrolled and participating in short-term training or on-the-job training made possible through ReSkillMS, and 71 employers were expanding because of the program.

“ReSkill Mississippi is already helping thousands of Mississippians. We have expanded training capacity in our community college system, and I encourage any Mississippian wanting a better career to enroll,” Reeves said. “I also encourage more companies to sign up and receive cost assistance for new employees receiving on-the-job training. We must continue to fight this pandemic on the economic front just as aggressively as we are fighting it on the health care front.”

ReSkillMS, which was announced Aug. 5, was created as a direct result of the Governor’s Commission on Economic Recovery’s recommendation that significant dollars from the federal CARES Act recovery funds be used for workforce training to help lift the economic burden on our workforce from the pandemic. The State Workforce Investment Board, the Mississippi Department of Employment Security, and Mississippi’s four local workforce areas collaborated to develop the program. ReSkillMS allows Mississippians are out-of-work or those working reduced hours to “re-skill” to help prepare them for and fill high-demand, higher-paying jobs across the state.

“We have long had more skilled jobs available than people trained to fill them, but this program can help thousands of Mississippians retrain for the skills needed for higher paying jobs,” said SWIB Chairman Patrick Sullivan. “I believe this program will play an important role in sustaining a vibrant and growing Mississippi economy, and it is the type of effort that Mississippi should look to continue long after the CARES Act and the COVID-19 pandemic are gone.”

The Mississippi Legislature appropriated $55 million of the $1.25 billion in federal relief funds sent to Mississippi to support the state’s workers and employers. Working to maximize those funds, the governor and a coalition of the state’s workforce leaders created ReSkillMS, an innovative new program to train individuals for good-paying jobs most needed right now and into our state’s future.

The direct beneficiaries of ReSkillMS are Mississippians furloughed, laid off, or otherwise experiencing economic damages and who received unemployment benefits from MDES, as well as Mississippi employers seeking to hire Mississippians immediately and train them on the job. Employers willing to hire and train individuals in the workplace are eligible to be reimbursed for up to 75% of the individual’s wages during the training period for jobs paying over $15 per hour and for up to 50% for wages under $15 per hour.

Individuals and employers interested in the program should go online to ReSkillMS.com to complete the appropriate survey. An official from Mississippi’s workforce offices nearby will reach out to the individual to guide them through the application process.

If applicants have not heard from anyone within seven days of submitting an application, they should email [email protected] to follow up.

COVID-19

Six new COVID-19 cases Tuesday in Warren County; 713 statewide

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New COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continue to climb in Mississippi as they have been doing for more than 10 days.

“I do think we are on the front end of something that could be bad,” said State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs in a Zoom meeting Monday. “The last time we saw that was before the summer surge,” Dobbs added. “That doesn’t mean we can’t turn that around. It’s not that hard. We just have to have a little bit of patience.”

The Mississippi State Department of Health reported six new COVID-19 cases Tuesday in Warren County and no new deaths. The cumulative number of cases in Warren County to date is 1,476, and the county’s death toll is 53.

Statewide, MSDH reported 713 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday, bringing the total cumulative confirmed cases in Mississippi to 105,941. The seven-day average of new cases is 609, higher by 183 cases from a month ago.

Most new cases are seen in younger people recently, and they are more likely to survive the virus than those 65 and older. By far, the age group reporting the most cases in Mississippi are young people from 18 to 29 years old.

MSDH reported Tuesday that 14 additional Mississippians died of COVID-19 statewide. The cumulative number of deaths in the state is 3,115. The state’s rate of deaths to confirmed cases is about 2.9%.

Deaths are a lagging indicator. While July saw the highest number of new cases since the crisis began, August saw the highest number of deaths. The highest number of deaths in any one day was 67 reported Aug. 25.

MSDH reported Tuesday that 13 deaths occurred in the following counties:

County Deaths reported Tuesday
Amite 2
Hancock 1
Harrison 1
Lee 1
Lowndes 1
Marshall 1
Monroe 1
Rankin 1
Tishomingo 1
Washington 3

One COVID-19 related death occurred Sept. 25 in Adams County and was identified from a death certificate report.

New cases and deaths were reported to MSDH as of 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 12. MSDH usually reports statistics on the COVID-19 coronavirus each day based on the previous day’s testing and death reports.

The primary metric concerning state health officials are the numbers of people hospitalized, and that number rose steadily with the rise of new cases in July and August. On June 6, the number of Mississippians hospitalized with confirmed cases of COVID-19 was at 358. Hospitalizations nearly tripled by late July. They leveled off in early August and began noticeably dropping in the middle of the month including critical cases and numbers of people requiring ventilators. Hospitalizations continued to drop in September but levelled off at the middle of the month. They continued to drop through Oct. 3; however, hospitalizations have been showing a definite rise since then.

The number of Mississippians hospitalized for the virus as of 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 12, is 600, about half of the late July peak of more than 1,200. The number includes 507 with confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 93 people with suspected but unconfirmed cases. Of those with confirmed infections, 145 were critically ill and in intensive care units and 69 were on ventilators.

Source: MSDH

MSDH has estimated the number of people who can be presumed recovered from COVID-19 in Mississippi. That number is 94,165 through Sunday, Oct. 11. This figure is updated weekly. It represents about 89% of the cumulative 105,941 cases reported Tuesday, Oct. 13.

The number of cases in Warren County three weeks ago, Tuesday, Sept. 22, was 1,382, therefore the estimated number of people presumed recovered in the county is 1,329, or about 90% of the 1,476 cumulative cases reported as of Tuesday, Oct. 11. The county has an estimated 87 active cases.

These estimates are based on MSDH’s guidelines for calculating estimated recoveries when hospitalizations are not known, using the number of cases 21 days ago, less known outcomes (deaths).

The total number of Mississippians tested for COVID-19 (PCR and antigen tests identifying current infections) as of Sunday, Oct. 3, is 863,957 or about 29% of the state’s 2.976 million residents. The positivity rate (positive results to tests, seven-day average) was 6.3% Sunday according to Johns Hopkins University. The national rate is 5%, and 5% or lower indicates adequate testing.

The total number of outbreaks in long-term care facilities is 128 Tuesday. About 40.6%, or 1,265, of the state’s total deaths were people in long-term care facilities.

A total of 25 deaths in Warren County were residents of LTC facilities.

MSDH is no longer reporting outbreaks in individual long-term care facilities in Mississippi and has replaced it with access to a database from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid. You can access and search the data here. The latest data available is for the week ending Sept. 27.

For additional information, visit the MSDH website.

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Monday’s I-20 crash in Louisiana claims the life of a Texas man

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On Monday, Oct. 12, shortly after 8 p.m., Louisiana State Police Troop F responded to a crash on Interstate 20 near milepost 182 in Madison Parish. The crash claimed the life of a man from Fort Worth, Texas.

The initial investigation revealed a 2018 Chevrolet Silverado, driven by 41-year-old Nathan Ribelin of Fort Worth, Texas, was traveling eastbound on Interstate 20. For reasons still under investigation, the Silverado rear-ended a 1999 International 18-wheeler that was stopped for traffic. After impact, the International 18-wheeler struck the rear of a 2008 Ford F-350 that was also stopped. Ribelin, who was properly restrained, was transported to a hospital where he later died because of his injuries.

A toxicology sample was obtained and submitted for analysis. The crash, which shut down the eastbound lanes of the interstate for several hours, remains under investigation.

To date in 2020, Troop F has investigated 38 fatal crashes resulting in 40 deaths.

 

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Announcements

Governor announces two MS Board of Ed appointments

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Gov. Tate Reeves announced two Mississippi State Board of Education appointments Tuesday: Angela Bass from Jackson and Glen East from Gulfport. The appointees reflect the Governor’s commitment to continuous improvement in education.

“Mississippi’s children deserve our steadfast commitment to improving education. We must continue to improve outcomes for these students without fear of upsetting the status quo. I am confident that Angela and Glen will serve with honor and represent the interest of parents, teachers and — most importantly — students. Their achievement has to be our top priority,” Reeves said in a statement.

Dr. Angela Bass served as a Teach for America corps member and studied education policy and management at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, later becoming a teacher in both the Tunica and Desoto County school districts and an administrator at the KIPP Memphis Collegiate High School. She currently serves as the Executive Director of the Mississippi Early Learning Alliance.

Mr. Glen East serves as the Superintendent of the Gulfport School District. The district represents 10 schools and approximately 5,800 students. It has been designated an Excellence for All School District.

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