Mississippi State University received a grant of over $1.49 million from the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) through its Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization (POWER) Initiative.
The grant was awarded through MSU-sponsored Infusing Virtual Reality in the Workforce, which aims to broaden virtual reality workforce training across five Mississippi counties.
A partnership between TRANSFRVR and East Mississippi Community College will bring the grant’s goal to “set students on a pathway to middle-skills jobs that do not require a four-year degree in Mississippi’s in-demand and high-growth industries that pay family-sustaining wages” in the counties of Clay, Kemper, Lowndes, Noxubee, and Oktibbeha.
More than 10,000 youth are expected to see the effects of the grant over the next three years with additional support provided through matching funds from East Mississippi Community College and the Mississippi Department of Education.
Mississippi was one of seven states awarded grants from the POWER Initiative. ARC has invested in 21 new POWER Initiatives, with MSU included in efforts to support workforce development, infrastructure, tourism, and healthcare projects in Appalachian regional communities affected by the downturn of the coal industry.