nSPARC Projects
Projects | Research
nSPARC has more than 10 years of history in conducting basic and applied research and other activities relevant to increasing economic competitiveness in Mississippi and beyond. The center assists more than 200 groups across the state, region, and nation in workforce and economic development. The following is a list of some of the major projects undertaken by the center.

SLDS – Statewide Longitudinal Data System (PDF) Spotlight
The Statewide Longitudinal Data System (SLDS) is a statewide project in Mississippi that was awarded in 2009. The broad goal of the national initiative funded through the U.S. Department of Education is to develop, implement, and expand longitudinal data systems that link information from pre-kindergarten through the workforce to create better information for better decision making to improve student outcomes. Specifically, the SLDS is designed to align the efforts of universities, community colleges, K-12 schools, and early childhood education in terms of academic standards and career expectations with the general intent of: (1) decreasing the number of high school dropouts; (2) increasing the number of high school students who graduate and enroll in and successfully complete a two- or four-year college degree; (3) increasing the number of students who successfully transfer from community colleges to universities; (4) increasing the number of four-year college graduates; (5) improving career-readiness at all levels of education; and (6) increasing the number of students who successfully gain employment. nSPARC coordinates activities for data sharing and reporting across all educational institutions in Mississippi and acts as a project manager and system developer for the SLDS in Mississippi.

WINGS – Workforce Investment Network Global Services (PDF) Flyer
The Workforce Investment Network Global Services (WINGS) project was undertaken in collaboration with the Mississippi Department of Employment Security. WINGS is a real-time, integrated web-based system designed to streamline tracking, case management, and reporting activities of state workforce employment programs and integrate data entry and reporting for Wagner-Peyser, WIA, and TAA into a single online system. The goal of the WINGS development project was to create a fully integrated, federally compliant system easily accessible by anyone, anywhere, any-time that assured high-performance data quality and integrity. The system provides real-time data validation and auditing and allows cross-program data entry without duplication, case management with special attention to streamlining staff workflow and tracking activities across programs, and unprecedented self-service access with an eye toward increasing interoperability for data sharing across states. nSPARC is the system architect and acts as the project manager for WINGS.

Mississippi Integrated Workforce Performance System and eData Portal
The Mississippi Integrated Workforce Performance System and eData Portal is a project funded through the U.S. Department of Labor Employment Training Administration. The goal of the Mississippi Integrated Workforce Performance System project is to build an integrated, online system of education, training, and supportive services that promotes skill attainment and career pathway development for those seeking new or better employment opportunities in Mississippi. This project also contributes substantially to larger statewide efforts aimed at streamlining workforce activities under a unified system and help the state meet its commitment to develop and implement an integrated workforce performance system to build a more competitive workforce for the jobs of the future and improve the quality of life for all Mississippians. nSPARC worked closely with the State Workforce Investment Board to develop this system and conducted all the research necessary to generate information for the eData Portal. nSPARC is the system architect and serves as the project manager.

Strategic Skills Forecast
The Strategic Skills Forecast project was undertaken for the Southeast Tennessee Development District. The primary goal of this project was to define a regional approach to economic development for counties in Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, and North Carolina based on identifiable interdependencies in terms of physical infrastructure, economic and industry resources, and community capital. Specifically, this project was designed to provide a comprehensive regional labor market analysis to assess the region's workforce base, provide geographically specific information on educational and skill requirements for current and emerging industries, and promote the development of partnerships between employers, training providers, community organizations, workers, and other key stakeholders to design strategies that grow high-skill, high-wage jobs. nSPARC served as project manager for the SSF project and developed the SSF web site on which all research findings were disseminated .

TAACCCT – Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College Career Training
The Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College Career Training (TAACCCT) project was undertaken in collaboration with the Corridor Consortium of community colleges in Mississippi. The goal of the project is to expand and improve the ability of community colleges to prepare individuals eligible for training under the TAA for Workers program for high-wage, high-skill occupations through education and career training programs that can be completed in two years or less. nSPARC provides designs for the research and evaluation components of the project as well as providing logistical and project management expertise.

LEAN – Learning Europe across Nations: Constructing a Common Policy Platform for Advancing Social Sciences and Humanities in Europe
This is an international collaborative project funded through the European Union. This project focuses on the future of social sciences and humanities in the context of European research. This project is a multi-national collaboration including universities from Italy, Spain, Germany, and the United States.