Hancock County, MS | P.O. Box 2267 Bay St. Louis, MS 39521 | 706 Highway 90 | Waveland, Mississippi 39576 | Toll Free: 800.558.1658  | Phone: 228.467.9231 | Fax: 228.467.9341
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Proximity to a diverse workforce gives Hancock County a competitive advantage

March 28, 2016

One of Hancock County’s greatest competitive advantages for attracting and retaining business is the availability of a large workforce.


Conveniently located on the westernmost coast of Mississippi, Hancock County is within the Gulfport-Biloxi, metropolitan statistical area (MSA), but also is in very close proximity to the New Orleans MSA, and can draw from a large labor market within 25 miles of the county.  Also, within 25-40 miles is the Pascagoula-Mobile workforce area to the east.  

A recent in-depth study of Hancock County’s “labor shed” showed that it has a civilian labor force of approximately 603,800 and a pool of 30,600 unemployed individuals who are actively seeking work. The study also found that employers have available an additional pool of approximately 111,8000 underemployed workers nearby.  In all, the Hancock County area has approximately 158,600 underemployed and unemployed workers available for new or expanding businesses. That is in addition to a large pool of experienced and early career stage employees who are actively working. 

One-third of underemployed workers are experienced in information technology, with an average of 10 years in IT. That experience can be attributed to Stennis Space Center, which was established by NASA in Hancock County in the 1960s. The NASA center is home to public and private rocket propulsion testing, Naval oceanography operations worldwide and some of the top aerospace companies in the country. Private investment at Stennis Space Center comes from aerospace companies known for their excellence, such as Rolls-Royce, Lockheed Martin, Aerojet Rocketdyne and SpaceX.

In addition to Stennis Space Center, Hancock County is the home to long-established major national and international manufacturers at Port Bienville Industrial Park and Stennis International Airport and Airpark.  These include SABIC Innovative Plastics, DAK Americas, SNF Polychemie, Jindal Tubular, Calgon Carbon, Optech International, JABLTCX, and SELEX-Galileo. All three benefit greatly from the county’s robust workforce development programs which provide a high level of standard and customized training.  The region lays claim to nearly 20,000 manufacturing jobs on the Gulf Coast, alone.

Employers will see how quickly and easily it is to receive training support for their workers through the Workforce Enhancement Training Fund (the WET funds).  These trainings are provided through the local community colleges, often at no or low cost to the industries.  The training is provided in formats that are easy to use and customized to industry requirements. (See February 2016 newsletter story for details on the WET funds and other training assistance for employers. http://portairspace.com/news/article/workforce-development-starts-early-in-hancock-county.)

Port Bienville Industrial Park, a heavy industry park with multimodal amenities including rail, 12-foot shallow draft port and easy access to Interstate 10, is well equipped to handle large scale workforce training easily and conveniently.  Click here for the full story about the David N. McDonald Training Center at the Port.

The WIN Job Centers in Mississippi help job seekers access employment, education, training and support services to succeed in the labor market and also match employers with the skilled workers they need to compete in the global economy.  Employers receive free job posting, applicant screening, eVerify and on-the-job training grants to employers.  Click here for a link to the WIN Job Center http://mdes.ms.gov/win-job-centers/hancock-county-win-job-center/

Although Hancock County can easily pull workforce from nearby communities, with a cost of living index of less than 91 percent, Hancock County offers an ideal mix of workforce diversity and an affordable cost of living. All schools within Hancock County are rated as high performing, and the community offers myriad  recreational, civic and cultural amenities.  See the http://hancockmsmyhome.com/ relocation website for more information about our diverse community and for up-to-date information on community happenings, see our local area online community newsletter at  http://www.bslfourthward.com/. 

For more information about workforce development services in Hancock County please contact Janel Carothers at jcarothers@portairspace.com


For More Info: 14054 Fred & Al Key Road
Kiln, Mississippi 39556 (228) 467-9231
Map14054 Fred & Al Key Road
Kiln, Mississippi 39556
Toll Free: 800.558.1658

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