Author: Ayanna Lipsey, Expansion Specialist
Mississippi Apprenticeship Program
The agriculture industry employs nearly a third of Mississippi’s workforce, and the industry is growing every year, according to the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce. As the industry expands, so does the opportunity for jobs for Mississippians. However, jobs in agriculture are becoming increasingly more technical, contributing to a skills gap in the industry that makes it more challenging to find qualified employees.
The Academy of Natural Resource Utilization at Wingfield High School is helping close the skills gap by introducing students to jobs and training in ag. The pre-apprenticeship program, offered in partnership with Hinds Community College and the Mississippi Apprenticeship Program, will expose students to agribusiness and entrepreneurship. Students will also receive personal leadership development and community service learning opportunities. Pre-apprenticeship programs are designed to prepare students, usually in a high school or community-based organization setting, to enter and succeed in an apprenticeship program.
Students in Wingfield’s program will also complete the Mississippi Community College Board’s Smart Start Program — a program designed to teach the technical and social skills that students need to be successful, productive employees. Students who complete the program will have an opportunity to take the ACT WorkKeys assessment that measures a range of hard and soft skills relevant to any occupation, at any level, and across industries and earn a National Career Readiness Certificate that demonstrates to employers that the student has the skills needed to be successful in the workplace.
Our goal is to provide students across Mississippi with similar opportunities in a wide range of industries. We are excited about the partnership with Wingfield and Hinds and look forward to the growth and success of the program.
If you are interested in learning more about pre-apprenticeship or apprenticeship, you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to working with you to expand apprenticeship opportunities in Mississippi.