Accelerate Mississippi cranks up workforce development at MGCCC

Published: Sep. 29, 2021 at 5:27 PM CDT
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PASS CHRISTIAN, Miss. (WLOX) - What does Accelerate Mississippi do for careers? You might say it cranks them up. At Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College’s West Harrison Center, students are working on all types of machinery involved with 18-wheelers.

The program’s called Heavy Equipment Maintenance Technology, and it’s funded by Accelerate Mississippi, so students can shine some light on a new career fixing and maintaining the trucks that keep America’s commerce moving.

“There’s been an increase in diesel trucks on the road, which means we need more mechanics and people to repair those types of things, and so the state of Mississippi has seen that need through the governor and Accelerate Mississippi,” said Christen Duhé, institutional relations associate VP at MGCCC.

The first class had 20 students, then twice as many signed up after that.

“Our instructors offering top-notch training to students through their experience, so when our students get out, they’re going to get jobs,” Duhé said.

They’re very needed right now because many of the current technicians are retiring, a trend that’s called the “silver tsunami.” The hope is future workers through Accelerate Mississippi will help stem that tide.

“This particular program has been around for about a year, and through Accelerate Mississippi and the Miss. Workforce Development Program, we’re able to double the capacity of the program and offer it at no cost to students,” Duhé added.

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