New Website is a Window into the Future of Career Charting for Young Mississippians
AccelerateMS career coaching strategy aims to move Mississippi forward
JACKSON, MS—If you’d like to learn about the rapidly growing new strategy in Mississippi that’s connecting high school graduates with rewarding futures, the new AccelerateMS website at coaches.acceleratems.org is a perfect starting point.
As the state’s lead workforce development office, AccelerateMS has worked with community-based partners to place over 180 career coaches in high schools across the state. By engaging with students at a pivotal stage in their lives, career coaches provide the support that young Mississippians need to define and achieve their goals for the future.
“We see high-quality career coaching as the key to leading young Mississippians to better-quality careers paying above-average wages without leaving the state,” said Courtney Taylor, Deputy Director for Strategy and Programs for AccelerateMS. “This website will allow stakeholders to learn how coaches are impacting individuals every day through success stories, impact metrics, and other features. Specifically, we are highlighting the many ways career coaches are helping students launch into meaningful career paths that they may not have been exposed to or engaged with already. As this effort continues to grow in our state, we hope the site will help tell the story of how Mississippi worked together to help our young people develop greater visions for themselves and ultimately our state.”
The career coach initiative is made possible by a partnership between AccelerateMS and the following subrecipient organizations:
- Central Mississippi Planning and Development District
- Economic Development Authority of Jones County
- Jackson County Chamber of Commerce
- Jackson County Economic Development Foundation
- South Delta Planning and Development District
- Three Rivers Planning and Development District
- Twin Districts Planning and Development District
- United Way of Jackson and George Counties
These organizations reach every corner of the state allowing for a natural fit with their community-building missions. This locally driven focus on supporting students makes the strategy unique to many other coaching programs nationwide. These organizations guide the career coaches to effectively build connections between education and industry at all levels to ensure our pipeline of future workers not only understands the job opportunities available to them but also the educational pathway leading to those jobs.
Modeled after successful programs in northeast Mississippi and on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, the statewide career coaching strategy gained momentum shortly after being funded by the State Legislature during the 2022 session with $8 million from the American Rescue Plan Act. Thanks to a $12 million boost during the 2023 legislative session, AccelerateMS, and its local partners have been able to expand the strategy to more communities across the state, now geographically covering 76 of Mississippi’s 82 counties.
This website will allow AccelerateMS to continue adding more in-depth information about career coaching, such as success stories and impact metrics as the effort continues to grow in the 2023-2024 school year and beyond.
AccelerateMS serves the people and businesses of Mississippi by developing and deploying workforce strategies to connect individuals with transformative, high-paying careers. By leveraging resources and partnering with organizations that hold complementary missions, AccelerateMS effectuates positive change, creating sustained individual, community, and statewide economic prosperity.