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Our View: Second Chance a good investment for Mississippi

Do the math.

Mississippi is reportedly spending some $600 million in a total of state and local incentives to get a Continental Tire plant in Hinds County.

We’re glad to have the plant in Mississippi, and there’s no denying that big investment is needed these days to lure big industry. But that Continental Tire plant will create 2,500 jobs paying about $40,000 a year on average, according to reports.

Investing $600 million for 2,500 jobs means an investment of about $240,000 per job.

Dick and Zach Scruggs and Second Chance Mississippi are figuring out through a pilot program with Mississippi community colleges how to get our residents in need of jobs with a much smaller investment.

The pilot 6-month training program that gets Mississippians without a high school diploma and job training both a high school equivalency certificate and specific job skills, according to marketplace needs, for the cost of only about $1,000 per student.

Taking advantage of our well-developed and capable system of 15 community colleges and aligning with regional job needs in the state, the program could literally pull Mississippi up by its boot straps.

We’re all in for recruiting big industry. But we hope that if Second Chance Mississippi and our state community colleges show that this and other programs put our state, affordably, that leaders will be willing to make the investment to get the results.