(L-R):  Danielle Winningham, MCEDA COO ; Chandler Russ, MEDC Chairman; Jan Collins, Madison County Business League & Foundation Executive Director.

The Mississippi Economic Development Council (MEDC) announced that the Madison County Workforce Development Project won the 2019 Community Economic Development Award (CEDA) on February 6, 2020.  The CEDA program is a “Best Practices” program intended to recognize exceptional contributions of communities in the State of Mississippi for the following efforts: business retention & expansion, business recruitment, community development and community involvement.

The Madison County Economic Development Authority (MCEDA) and the Madison County Business League and Foundation (MCBL&F) initiated a Workforce Development Project to establish a qualified talent pipeline, close existing skills gaps, and enhance the economic development marketability of the Madison County workforce. This public-private workforce development initiative facilitated and promoted many workforce training and career readiness opportunities for the emerging, current and transitioning workforce in Madison County.  Working in conjunction with Madison County School District, Canton Public School District, Holmes Community College, the Central Mississippi Planning and Development District and other partners was paramount to provide workforce training, soft skills solutions, credentialing, apprenticeships and internship opportunities. In the short term, Madison County became a certified ACT WorkReady Community.  Over time, these partnerships and actions will establish and promote a qualified talent pipeline.

Through MCEDA’s Existing Industry Program, MCEDA Human Resources Roundtable Luncheons, and MCBL&F’s Workforce and Education Committee, employers have provided valuable information about their needs. Then, we are able to communicate those needs to the school districts, community colleges and other workforce development partners. As a result, the Workforce Development Project helps educators build career pathways aligned to the needs of business and industry, which helps close skills gaps.

Ultimately, Madison County is more attractive for business development and recruitment because of the actions taken throughout the Madison County Workforce Development Project.

To learn more about the Madison County Workforce Development Project please contact:

Jan Collins, Executive Director, Madison County Business League & Foundation
135 Mississippi Parkway, Canton, MS 39046
(601) 832-5592


Danielle Winningham, CWDP, COO, Madison County Economic Development Authority
135 Mississippi Parkway, Canton, MS 39046
(601) 605-0368

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