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2/5/14 - Research center at MSU helps power state's jobs initiative

A research center at Mississippi State University is working to help Mississippians find jobs that match their skills.

"The key in all this is that we here at nSPARC have developed the concept and the model to make use of data in the most effective way so that employers and job seekers can be connected at all times. The goal is to give a job to those who want one and to retain the best and brightest in the state," said Domenico "Mimmo" Parisi, director of the National Strategic Planning and Analysis Research Center.

Commonly referred to by the acronym nSPARC, the center has developed a real-time system that connects available jobs with job seekers through three entry points:

--Mississippi Department of Employment Security online employment system at

--Jobs for Mississippi Graduates at

--Mississippi Works portal at and the MSWorks mobile app.

Gov. Phil Bryant announced the new website and mobile app during his State of the State address in January. On Monday [Feb. 3], the governor officially launched them during a news conference in Jackson.

"Since becoming governor, I have made it my priority to build a state where every Mississippian who wants a job can find a job," Bryant said. "We are accomplishing this goal through economic development efforts, education reform, improvements to our business climate and workforce development programs.

"Now with this online system and app, we have another tool to connect employers with Mississippians who want to work, putting companies and job seekers a click away from success."

Search "MSWorks" in Apple's App Store to download the Mississippi Works app developed by nSPARC at Mississippi State. It is also available for Android phones from Google Play.

According to Parisi, who participated in the Jackson event, the Mississippi Works system is a prime example of using "big data" to create "smart data" that can be used for economic growth and to connect people to services that increase their ability to secure a job, build a career or advance their education.

The MSWorks app is a native mobile application available for Android smartphones and the iPhone. It takes MDES services to the palm of a job seeker's hand. The app:

--Provides a true mobile application with core native functions like job search and job center search;

--Allows a user to maintain a list of favorite jobs;

--Browse downloaded jobs offline when Internet access is unavailable;

--Apply for a job with one click because the app works hand-in-hand with the online employment system.

The Mississippi Works portal was created to bring together links that enable job seekers to look for employment and employers to look for qualified candidates. Among its features, the website:

--Contains a real-time job count of openings in the state workforce system;

--Offers instant keyword search of the job database;

--Provides easy-to-follow links to download the MSWorks mobile app.

The work is funded through a contract with the Mississippi Department of Employment Security (MDES), Parisi said.

As a university research center, nSPARC embodies the academic values of innovation and knowledge creation by pioneering the science and technology needed to collect, manage, contextualize and interpret socioeconomic data, noted Parisi, who is also a professor of demography and applied statistics in the Department of Sociology at MSU.

The center is well known for integrating agency administrative databases as a source of comprehensive analysis of policy issues in the area of place-based economic and workforce development.

Of nSPARC's work to develop the jobs system for MDES, Parisi stated: "A key message in all this is the role universities play in forging sustainable partnerships between the public and private sectors and for solving problems in the areas of education, workforce and economic development."

For additional information, please contact Parisi at or 662-325-8065.

Jim Laird | Public Affairs

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