New Pearl River Community College workforce education leader selected to participate in the 2019-2020 New Workforce Professionals Academy.
Terri Clark, dean of workforce and community development at Pearl River Community College (PRCC), says that when people think of PRCC, she wants them to think of the institution as more than a place to receive a high-quality college education. “I want people to think about us as a community- and economic development partner.”
As a part of these efforts, PRCC recently hired Michael Yarbrough to serve as the workforce project manager and apprenticeship coordinator. In this role, he will lead the institution’s efforts to build relationships with business and industry leaders in the Hattiesburg region. “Michael has worked in community college education for many years. However, we encouraged him to apply for the New Workforce Professionals Academy to learn more about how to create successful workforce education and apprenticeship training programs,” said Clark.
PRCC provides a myriad of workforce development and training programs that are helping to strengthen the state’s workforce. These programs include partnerships with the Mississippi Apprenticeship Program and local utility companies to provide a lineman apprenticeship program. According to Clark, the college continues to look for ways to develop strong partnerships with businesses that lead to skill development and career opportunities for students and community members in the surrounding area.
In October, Michael was the only workforce professional in Mississippi selected for the Academy. The academy, which is offered by the National Council for Workforce Education, provides advanced training and skills development for community college workforce educational professionals. It also creates a space for these professionals to communicate, collaborate, and work through challenges, barriers, and opportunities that arise in their work. Participants also learn about program funding opportunities, employer engagement, data analytics, program design and review, credit, and goal setting and measurement, among other topics.
“The academy program is an opportunity for us to learn from other community colleges, but it is also an opportunity for us to share the amazing work that is already happening in Mississippi,” said Yarborough. “I have a passion for education and training, and I believe PRCC is connecting the dots between people looking for work and people trying to hire folks. We are helping people get the training they need to get the right jobs. Being a part of this academy will help me contribute positively to the growth of our programs.”
During the program, professionals will participate in peer learning, mentoring, and training. They will also have an opportunity to visit two flagship workforce education programs to learn lessons they can bring back to their institutions. To learn more about the National Workforce Professionals Academy, visit the program’s website.