The Lowe’s Foundation has provided $1 million in grants to Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College (MGCCC) to help expand the college’s career and technical training programs.
As the United States faces a critical shortage of skilled trades workers in fields such as heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration technology (HVAC), electrical, drafting, manufacturing, and construction, MGCCC is working to bridge this labor gap.
Due to the contribution from Lowe’s Foundation’s Gable grant program, MGCCC is offering enhanced training opportunities, scholarships, internships, apprenticeships, and job-placement assistance to students pursuing careers in key skilled trades industries.
Recent statistics indicate that fewer than nine percent of workers aged 19-24 are entering the skilled trades, despite the lucrative earning potential, with salaries ranging from $54,000 to $67,000 per year. MGCCC is addressing this challenge by expanding its career and technical programs to equip students with the necessary skills and expertise to succeed in these high-demand industries.
“The impending retirement of a majority of skilled trades professionals within the next decade, coupled with negative perceptions and rising demand, has created a significant workforce shortage,” Dr. Jordan Sanderson, associate vice president of reporting and data analytics at MGCCC, said. “MGCCC is committed to filling this gap by offering relevant, hands-on training programs.”
Key skilled trades programs at MGCCC supported by the Lowe’s Foundation Gable grant include HVAC, electrical technology, construction engineering technology, precision manufacturing and machining technology, and 3D modeling and design technology.
MGCCC’s career and technical programs have seen high success rates as a result of close partnerships with industry leaders, ensuring that students are prepared for employment upon graduation. The programs also boast high graduation and job placement rates.
A notable highlight of MGCCC’s grant program is the introduction of the Commercial and Residential Construction Technology program at the George County Correctional Facility in Lucedale, which was established as a result of the Lowe’s Foundation Gable grant. The program will cover a range of trades, including carpentry, electrical, masonry, and plumbing.
The grant period spans two years, but the equipment installed at the correctional facility will enable MGCCC to sustain the program throughout future years.