Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University

Advisor

Parisi, Domenico

Committee Member

Davis, James E.

Committee Member

Stonecyhper, Wayne

Committee Member

Wiseman, William M.

Committee Member

Scaggs, William

Date of Degree

1-1-2012

Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

College

College of Education

Abstract

The aim of this study was to investigate the question of whether or not the gap between rural and urban workforce outcomes is reduced with investment in human capital and training conducted by community colleges. In this study, rural and urban differences in employment rate, employment retention, and wage gain after receiving training were examined to determine the extent to which the gap between rural and urban workforce outcomes is reduced by investment in human capital and training conducted by community colleges. Three research questions were examined. 1. Are Mississippians in rural and urban settings equally able to secure employment after receiving specialized and advanced training? 2. Are Mississippians in rural and urban settings engaging in specialized- and advanced-skill development equally able to retain employment over time? 3. Do Mississippians in rural and urban settings experience the same wage increase after receiving specialized and advanced training? The researcher hypothesized that investment in skill development would reduce the gap between rural and urban workforce outcomes, controlling for individual and local factors. The results of this study have several implications. First, training is a critical component to gaining and retaining employment. On average, 80% of those who receive training from community colleges are able to gain employment. Of those, 54% are able to retain their jobs for the remainder of the year and training generates an annual increase of $4,633 in wages, on average. Second, the results show that there are urban and rural differences in workforce outcomes. Third, individual characteristics matter and, in all cases, those who benefit the most from training are those with 2-year degrees, confirming that community colleges play a fundamental role in providing the knowledge and skills for our workforce. Fourth, local conditions cannot be dismissed in addressing differential workforce outcomes.

URI

https://hdl.handle.net/11668/16996

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