EMCC Communiversity Offers Workforce Development Programs Says Governor Reeves That Can Revitalize Job Market

COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) – During his State of the State address on Tuesday, Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves stressed the need to continue investing in workforce development programs.

Programs like those at Communiversity at East Mississippi Community College, which offer manpower training in fields such as certified nursing, computer-aided design, maintenance, etc.

“I believe that if we make this investment, Mississippi will develop this workforce of the future and ensure our state’s success for years to come,” the governor said. during his speech.

Governor Reeves believes these programs can help the state end the labor shortage and train Mississippians to succeed in well-paying jobs.

“Advanced manufacturing, construction and healthcare are areas that we are paying a lot of attention to help address the skills crisis and labor shortage in the region,” said the chairman of EMCC, Dr. Scott Alsobrooks.

In the EMCC Manufacturing and precision machining laboratory, students learn to use equipment advanced enough to turn a piece of metal into a Mississippi coin. These same skills they develop by building replica machine parts can also help them earn a lot of real money.

“You measure parts, you make sure the parts work together,” says Ray Hollis Jr., engineering technology and design instructor. “It extends to all the areas in which they will work.

Engineering technology and design instructor Ray Hollis Jr. says one of his students’ previous assignments was to build a drone with a delivery system that could drop a golf ball.

“They had to have moving gears working together with a motor, and the legs, and the landing assembly and all the necessary connections,” says Hollis.

Dr Alsobrooks says the school partners with local businesses to help students learn the specific skills employers are looking for.

“We are a leader in workforce development and partnering with our local industry and business community,” he says. “To create programs that prepare people to enter their field.”

Dr Alsobrooks says that with many programs requiring face-to-face interaction and hands-on work, the pandemic has hurt enrollment.

However, the school is expected to receive money from the Restoration Act, as well as a portion of the $130 million in ARPA funds that Governor Reeves proposed in his budget recommendation.

Michael A. Bynum