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IT / High Tech


Greater Jackson Alliance Workforce Assessment
Computer and Information Technology Sector

Younger Associates has evaluated the availability of skilled workers for the computer and information technology sector in the Greater Jackson Alliance area. This evaluation is based upon
a comprehensive workforce analysis completed in September 2008 in collaboration with Wadley-Donovan GrowthTech. 

To gain a current and accurate measurement of labor availability by skill set, Younger Associates conducted a labor supply survey that yielded data with a +4% margin of error.  The assessment found a skilled workforce and a pool of available and underemployed workers with skills directly related to the computer and information technology industry. For this report, labor availability has been updated to reflect March 2009 levels.

The Greater Jackson Alliance Area Labor Market has over 295,000 employed workers and a labor reserve of more than 210,000 potential and underemployed workers.   With the state capital plus
a number of corporate headquarters and regional headquarters operations located in the area, Greater Jackson is the center for office and business services operations in the state.  Consequently, a high proportion of the available workers are prepared for jobs related to
computer technology, information management, and customer service.

A data center, contact center or other information technology operation locating in the Greater Jackson Alliance Area could draw from a pool of over 55,400 experienced workers within the labor reserve who have directly related skills.  These workers have prior work experience ranging from highly skilled computer technology professionals to office administrative support.

The labor reserve offers a depth of workers with customer service and middle management experience.  Customer support centers, remote data centers, shared services centers and other types of computer and information technology employers can fully staff their entire operation
from the Greater Jackson Alliance Area labor pool.  

Depending upon the exact location and commute zone within the area, an employer requiring
highly skilled technical workers could expect to find 975 to 1,050 fully screened and qualified applicants.  These applicants have professional level computer/information technology skills, and high level computer and information systems technical support skills. 

An employer requiring customer support, middle management, professional business services
(i.e. accounting and financial) and administrative support workers could expect to find 4,400 to 5,000 screened and qualified candidates.


Each year colleges and universities serving the Greater Jackson Area produce almost 2,500 graduates of programs related to computer information technology and business.

Table 1 below shows the number of people currently employed in the occupations listed by the
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics as directly related to the computer and information technology, sector.  Also shown is the number of workers within each skill set area that are not currently employed but interested in finding employment.  This group is comprised of the recently unemployed and groups such as people returning to the workforce after caring for family,
entering the workforce after completing school or training, early retirees seeking to reenter the workforce, and separating military. The underemployed workers are currently working below their skill level, or only part time, and have demonstrated skills in the skill sets shown.

 

 

Table 1:  Greater Jackson Workforce Area Skill Sets: 
Computer and Information Technology

 Source: Younger Associates Labor Supply Survey 2008, Updated March 2009

Skill Set

 Currently Employed

 Not Employed, But Interested

Underemployed

 

Total

Availability

Computer Information System Professionals

575

3,460

4,450

7,910

Computer Technical Support

1,150

2,020

1,200

3,220

Information/Media Technology

2,260

1,975

300

2,275

Customer Service

12,600

8,650

650

9,300

Business Professional Services

2,300

575

1,490

2,065

Middle Management

23,900

6,450

5,675

12,125

Office Administrative Support

21,950

13,800

4,765

18,565

Total

64,735

36,930

18,530

55,460

 

Labor Quality and Cost

Employers were asked to rate their workforce, on a scale of one to five with five being highest
on the following labor quality measures.

 

Work Ethic

3.0

Productivity

3.1

Willingness to work overtime

3.4

Punctuality

3.0

Overall employer/employee relations

3.4

 

In the Greater Jackson area annual average wages for the most technically skilled occupations
such as computer systems design are 37% or more below the U.S. average wages. The average wages for non-technically skilled occupations such as customer service are 20% to 28% lower
than the national average.


Workforce Education and Training

Table 2 below shows the total number of graduates and the number of graduates with degrees directly related to business and computer technology from the colleges and universities serving
the Greater Jackson Alliance area.

 

Table 2: Greater Jackson Alliance Area Computer Technology
and Business Graduates

Source: US Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics (IPEDS)

Name

Address

 Distance from Jackson, MS

 Type

 Total Enrollment

 Undergraduate Degree/ Certificate

Business/Tech Graduates*

Alcorn State University

Alcorn

67.9 miles

4-yr, Public

3,688

559

78

Antonelli College

Jackson

0.4 miles

2-yr, Private for-profit

240

82

15

Belhaven College

Jackson

1.1 miles

4-yr, Private not-for-profit

2,485

470

382

Copiah-Lincoln Community College

Wesson

42.9 miles

2-yr, Public

2,382

719

114

East Central Community College

Decatur

63.6 miles

2-yr, Public

2,281

485

75

Hinds Community College

Raymond

15.2 miles

2-yr, Public

9,941

1,476

209

Holmes Community College

Goodman

49.3 miles

2-yr, Public

5,107

641

119

Jackson State University  R

Jackson

0.5 miles

4-yr, Public

8,698

834

264

Jones Junior College

Ellisville

75.0 miles

2-yr, Public

4,683

904

63

Meridian Community College

Meridian

79.2 miles

2-yr, Public

3,543

667

43

Millsaps College

Jackson

2.4 miles

4-yr, Private not-for-profit

1,151

199

86

Mississippi College

Clinton

8.6 miles

4-yr, Private not-for-profit

4,467

542

191

Mississippi Delta Community College

Moorehead

82.0 miles

2-yr, Public

3,006

432

28

Mississippi Valley State University

Itta Bena

83.4 miles

4-yr, Public

3,009

511

73

Southwest Mississippi Community College

Simmit

71.1 miles

2-yr, Public

1,843

407

23

Tougaloo College

Tougaloo

7.0 miles

4-yr, Private not-for-profit

856

131

1

University of Southern MississippiR

Hattiesburg

83.4 miles

4-yr, Public

14,592

2,277

537

Virginia College-Jackson

Jackson

5.1 miles

2-yr, Private for-profit

905

286

65

Mississippi State University R

Starkville

114.4 miles

4-yr, Public

17,039

2,588

821

University of Mississippi Main Campus  R

Oxford

148.2 miles

4-yr, Public

15,129

2,376

780

Total

 

 

 

105,045

16,586

2,499

Programs of study include: Computer/Information Systems, Communications Technology, Business

R - Carnegie Classified Research University

 

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Contact Information
By Post Mail:
Greater Jackson Alliance
Post Office Box 3318
Jackson, MS 39207-3318

By Phone:
We are available by phone to assist you M-F, 8AM to 5PM Central Time. Please feel free to call us anytime, though, and leave a message outside regular business hours.
Tel: 1.601.948.3111
Fax: 601.352.5539

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