Dr. Andrea Mayfield Executive Director of the Mississippi Commuity College board said that Mississippi community colleges are currently leading the state and the nation.
She added that the Aspen prize is one million dollars and that if even one of the colleges were to win it would be a major feather in the state’s cap as each entree must be invited to apply.
Mayfield said that the community colleges are partnering with various manufacturers to create homegrown apprenticeships.
Mayfield added that Empire Truck Sales and Stribling Equipment are partnering with Hinds Community College for a Diesel Technology Academy to put Mississippians straight to work after completing their apprenticeship.
These are the first two companies to sign on with HCC.
“These programs are a wonderful way to improve our skilled workforce in the state and put our people to work with high-paying jobs,” said Governor Phil Bryant. “I appreciate all the hard work of everyone involved and know many other companies will sign up soon to have their own registered apprenticeship.”
She added that they are the partnerships are happening all across the state.
Mayfield said that it is because of inter-agency coordination.
She said that Holmes Community College will be implementing the first registered behavioral therapist program through the Mississippi virtual community college.
Mayfield added that community colleges and universities across the state are taking part in the Mississippi Complete to Compete programs which helps individuals who have done some college but need to finish their degrees. She said that within the last 75 days, 22 baccalaureate degrees and 119 associates degrees.
“These are people who have actually earned the credit they just didn’t know it, or they just needed to reverse transfer a couple of credits and they earn their degree,” said Mayfield.
However, Mayfield said that Mississippi community colleges were planned for greatness from the beginning.
Mississippi is one of the only states in the nation that has a planned community college system.
She said that Mississippi’s 15 community colleges were designed to be within 30 minutes driving distance from anyone in the state so as to allow ease of access.