If you ask Mississippi Department of Employment Security Chief Operating Officer Stan McMorris, it was good while it lasted.
"Over the long run, it's significant for Mississippi," said McMorris.
That significance comes from a program called STEPS which would later spur another called STEPS2, both of them set up to put Mississippians who are out of work back to making a pay check.
The program only lasts about four months with federal stimulus money paying most of the wages for the workers, but that money is drying up and when the current program ends on December tenth, it will end for good.
"There's no funding available at this moment to continue or create another program," said McMorris.
The money had to be used by the end of the year and McMorris says that means $2.1 million is currently being paid out to the 536 workers across the state.
The program may be ending, but McMorris says lots of folks are better off by being a part of it. During it's first run about 3,200 people landed jobs from cashiers to nursing aides. Of those, about 1,800 were hired on as full time employees once the program ended.
"It's a wide gambit of jobs," said McMorris. "Anytime you can use any type of federal dollars like this to create a job it is very helpful to the Mississippi economy."
With an unemployment rate just above ten percent in Mississippi, McMorris says this type of program is just what the unemployed needed, getting folks off of unemployment and public assistance rolls and back on track to contributing to the state's tax roll.
"People get back to work, they begin to get some spending money in their pocket," said McMorris.
Even though the STEPS program will go away, the Department of Employment Security still has it's normal on the job training programs as well as helping to find job placement.
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