MAP Supports Crews and Ferrell in Launching Their First RA Program

Brittany Crews with Crews, Ferrell, and Associates Inc., and Brittany Morris, Apprenticeship State Expansion Specialist at The Mississippi Apprenticeship Program (MAP), speak on their collaboration, and an exciting new apprenticeship opportunity.   

“Our partnership with MAP began in August of 2021,” Crews says. “ MAP has helped us develop our curriculum and standards for each craft that we hire and train. MAP has created opportunities not only for partnerships but also for developing coursework and building a solid foundation for our training program.” 

MAP also assisted with implementing and creating the new Registered Apprenticeship (RA) program, in a five-stage plan that included exploring work process training, reviewing technical instruction, and determining what occupations to employ in the program to ensure maximum employee preparedness and retention. Brittany Morris worked directly with Crews on this plan.

“It is important as a specialist to help the company develop their RA program by identifying the occupation and its skillset needed on the job site,” Morris says. “In a cohesive manner, MAP works with the company to seek their long-term goals of apprenticeship, determine the program’s payment structure and wage progression, and also determine how classroom and on-the-job training will be delivered based upon the model of apprenticeship.”

With MAP’s assistance, Crews was able to launch their RA program within a month’s time. Focused on building talent along the Gulf Coast, the program offers on-the-job training and classroom instruction to participants with job skills focused on providing labor to shipyards along the Gulf Coast along with construction and maintenance. The program is unique in that it provides support for non-traditional students such as individuals who were formerly incarcerated. 

“Our RA program provides on-the-job training plus classroom instruction utilizing NCCER’s curriculum,” Crews says. “We hire and train people from all backgrounds of life. To help reduce recidivism along the Gulf Coast, we focus many of our resources on hiring and training formerly incarcerated individuals. In partnership with nonprofits such as Planting Healing, we can assist our participants in receiving additional services such as mentoring, records sealing or expungement, and treatment for addiction.”

Participants can also earn income while completing their coursework, obtain college credit hours, or receive financial aid for related instruction if partnered with a community college. There are also resources available for participants in need of paid transportation or daycare.

“Related instruction can be offered through partnerships with community colleges such as MGCCC, which allows participants to apply for financial aid. The curriculum we use for our RA program can be transferred for 30 credit hours toward a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Professional Trades Administration at Capitol Technology University,” Crews says. 

“Participants can apply to our RA program with no experience or transfer a skill set or coursework toward earning their apprenticeship faster,” Crews continues.“Depending on the participant’s level of experience and progression in the program, pay ranges from $10-$19.85 per hour.”

The education, resources, and services provided by Crews’ RA program work to increase the number of skilled workers around the coast, while also providing long-term employment for apprentices. Crews hopes to continue to support participants deemed to be “at-risk” due to socioeconomic barriers and looks forward to creating more partnerships with nonprofits and organizations that can supply additional resources for this demographic. 
For more information about the program, visit www.ShipyardLabor.com or call (228) 222-4820. Interested in creating an apprenticeship program for your business? Visit our website to get started.

Northtown Pharmacy Teams With MAP for Success

NORTHTOWN PHARMACY TEAMS WITH MAP FOR SUCCESS

A dynamic independent pharmacy has opened at  6220 Old Canton Road. Dr. Andrew Clark is the pharmacist and owner of Northtown Pharmacy in the heart of bustling northeast Jackson. One of Northtown Pharmacy’s founding principles is offering the personal customer service and patient care that large chain pharmacies can’t provide. The pharmacy’s new partnership brokered by Brittany Morris of the Mississippi Apprenticeship Program (MAP),  has formed the perfect tandem to serve the community.

As the MAP Apprenticeship State Expansion Specialist, Morris recognized an opportunity to partner with Dr. Clark. The expansion specialist developed a plan to grow his business and provide opportunities for vocational training as a direct line to specialized employment that bolsters economic growth. She used a holistic approach to skillfully research pharmacies to assure the most strategic placement and curriculum for Northtown’s unique business needs. According to Clark, “Northtown Pharmacy was established to address patients’ issues that I had observed, that were well documented, and not addressed by the “Big Box” pharmacies.” With the assistance of apprentices from the RA program, Northtown will be uniquely positioned to reach this goal.

Morris and Clark thoughtfully assessed the hours and competencies/tasks dedicated to completing the program that best fit his store’s needs. Dr. Clark chose the Pharmacy Technician position, the pharmacy technician will help Dr. Clark prepare and dispense prescriptions. They will also engage customers in personable and meaningful ways that inspire customer loyalty.

The pharmacy is dedicated to serving families in the community. It offers flu shots, Covid-19 vaccinations, helps patients manage their medication therapy, synchronizes their medicines, and delivery services.  The store also has a gift shop with whimsical gift ideas and many local products.  

As part of the healthcare team, well-trained pharmacy techs are vital to patient care and wellness. Overall, Northown’s apprentice experience will include on-the-job training and related technical instruction. A pharmacy tech with enhanced skills from an intense curriculum and real-world experience will give Northtown Pharmacy sustainability and the tech a viable career with a secure income. According to Indeed, ZipRecruiter, and Upwards, a pharmacy technician can earn up to $17 an hour.

Dr. Clark weighed all these considerations when he decided to partner with MAP. Knowing that Brittany Morris took the time to research the pharmacy profession as well as the retail component of the dispensary, his confidence in the program grew immensely. “As a business owner, I am excited about partnering with MAP because of the vast amounts of resources that are readily made available to my business that will help enable us to secure quality individuals to train and employ.” 

For apprentices, the experience will be rigorous but rewarding. Morris explains that “Northtown’s Pharmacy Apprenticeship Program will be a one-year program for all Pharmacy Technicians Level I and II consisting of 2000 hours of on-the-job training and 144 hours of related classroom instruction. Once complete, students will be eligible to complete/pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB). The apprentices will be able to build rapport and loyalty with Northtown Pharmacy, in return, the pharmacy will be able to have a skilled workforce and retention as these are beneficial factors of Registered Apprenticeship.”

Dr. Clark knows firsthand the importance of on-the-job training and a supervisor who recognizes talent. “As a young pharmacist, I became a pharmacist manager three months after graduating from pharmacy school. I had worked many hours as a pharmacy intern and knew the pharmacy systems and standard operating procedures. The pharmacy market supervisor was confident that I would do well as a manager.…

I managed a pharmacy in Vicksburg, MS, a pharmacy in West Jackson off Ellis Ave, and later moved to manage a “Big Box” pharmacy Clinton, MS.”

In addition to training a skilled worker and developing a path to economic security for the pharmacy’s apprentice, Dr. Clark wants his apprentice to soak in every bit of knowledge they can from him as an experienced pharmacist. He also wants them to cultivate a desire to serve. “To learn to appreciate the honor it is to serve others while helping to improve their health and quality of life.”   

Independent businesses are integral to the local tax base and Mississippi’s economy. As the owner of Northtown Pharmacy, Clark takes the responsibility of training his program participants very seriously.

Dr. Clark says, “I believe that there is no substitute for experience.  The opportunity to learn from someone that has come before you and is currently working in an occupation that you desire is an invaluable opportunity.” 

For opportunity seekers, a stable income and financial security are within reach through MAP’s RA program. The registered apprenticeship program is ideal for those considering a career change or increasing their chances for meaningful employment.     

Clark encourages any business interested in participating in the program to contact MAP. Don’t hesitate. The benefits to your business and the influence you can have on the future as a mentor are tremendous.

Specialist Morris shares his enthusiasm and says, “I wish Dr. Clark great success in implementing his registered apprenticeship program to enhance the quality care of Jackson, Mississippi. I hope students will build rapport and longevity in the pharmacy industry through their curriculum and training.”

Follow Dr. Clark and Northtown Pharmacy’s progress at:

The FACEBOOK page has the same name as the website. 

Instagram: Northtownrx

And follow the Mississippi Apprentice Program at:

Instagram: https://instagram.com/northtownrx?utm_medium=copy_link

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/msapprenticeshipworks/

Twitter: @ApprenticeMS

State Apprenticeship Expansion 2020 Grantees

MAP is excited to announce the newest grant award recipients for the State Apprenticeship Expansion 2020 grant (SAE). MAP is continuing its long-standing sponsor community college partnerships with Hinds Community College, Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, and Pearl River Community College. East Mississippi Community College is a first-time apprenticeship grant award recipient. Each community college sponsor was awarded $200,000 to continue the work of creating, retaining, and expanding registered apprenticeship programs in Mississippi.

“We are looking forward to working with and through our community college sponsors and our MAP Team to partner with business and industry to grow and promote registered apprenticeship in Mississippi”, said Dr. Tonya Neely, Director of MAP.  “As of June 30, 2021, there are 3,012 total apprentices in the state. MAP will continue to provide key support for apprenticeship programs at community colleges, and has promoted economic empowerment and created more opportunities for our community college partners.”

Registered apprenticeship programs offer a variety of benefits and have been proven to help enrich the workforce, by increasing the number of skilled employees and by offering businesses critical resources, such as on-the-job training and classroom instruction, to educate their staff. These programs represent a variety of fields that enable our state’s residents to earn a living way while learning a new skill.

For more information about registered apprenticeship, MAP, or our sponsor community colleges follow, like, and click the links below. View the original announcement here.

Website: https://msapprenticeship.works/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ApprenticeMS/

Twitter: Mississippi Apprenticeship Program @ApprenticeMS

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/msapprenticeshipworks/

Welcome to the Team: Carolyn

Carolyn Green, one of MAP’s newest team members, is excited about her role with the Mississippi Apprenticeship Program. Carolyn will serve as the Technical Assistant for MAP’s Workforce Integrated Performance System and Reporting Modules.

“In my role”, Green says, I will manage the Registered Apprenticeship (RA) data system in MS Works.”

She is looking forward to being a part of the MAP team and be able to provide services to aid many participants in getting a head start towards their career path.

Green’s previous work experience includes working at the Mississippi Department Employment Security (MDES) as an ES Technical Support Specialist III for the Office of Grant Management. She also spent time as a liaison for the Opioid Grant Program. In this role, she provided services for Disaster Relief Employment, Career and Trainer, and supportive services to Opioid-Abuse-Affected clients in the targeted counties referred by Mississippi’s Drug Courts.

When asked what motivates her about her new job, Green had this to say:

“I am very excited to have the opportunity to work with such a great team that’s working towards making a difference by helping communities strive for a better future through the Apprenticeship Program.”


Celebrating Phillip Duke

We’re celebrating veteran apprentice, Phillip Duke and his new role as Pearl River Community College’s Manufacturing and Apprenticeship Specialist. Duke began his 40-year career in manufacturing from a qualified apprenticeship program, and now works to ensure others have access to the same opportunities. Listed below is a press release detailing Duke’s exciting new position. This press release was originally featured on PRCC’s Facebook page. Check out their website for more information on their latest workforce training programs!

Duke joins PRCC Workforce staff Manufacturing and Apprenticeship Specialist

HATTIESBURG, Miss. – Apprenticeship veteran Phillip Duke has joined Pearl River Community College’s Workforce Development team as a Manufacturing and Apprenticeship Specialist.

In his first months on the job, Duke, 64, has begun meeting with local manufacturing companies to determine what specific workforce training they may need, help coordinate that training, and promote apprenticeships.

“Being involved with apprenticeship has benefitted me throughout my career,” said Duke. “Serving in an apprenticeship led me to a higher paying job and retirement, it provided a means to train employees when technical colleges were not meeting the need, and now I’m promoting apprenticeship to companies in and around Hattiesburg.”

A Vicksburg native, he has worked more than 40 years in manufacturing and recently retired from Kasai North America (Tier 1 supplier of automobile parts to Nissan and Toyota Motor corporations) as of December 2020. He was employed there for more than 18 years before finishing his tenure as general manager of tool & die and maintenance.

“By trade, I am a tool and die, maker,” said Duke. “I served two four-year apprenticeships early in my career, the first for mold making at Vicksburg Mold & Die and the second for die making at Precision Machine in Ridgeland in the early 1980s.”

He also worked in central Mississippi throughout the ’80s and ’90s for several manufacturing companies as a tool & die, maker.

Apprenticeships have been a big part of Duke’s career. An apprenticeship is a method of technical (OJT) training with additional structured learning activities sponsored by an employer for a set number of hours for a particular trade such as machinist, pipefitter, electrician, or welder. 

Apprenticeships are supported by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Apprenticeship. It is a real job, so you can earn a wage while you learn and become fully trained in your chosen occupation by the end of the apprenticeship.

“Phillip brings unparalleled experience in manufacturing and apprenticeship to our workforce team. His knowledge and experience will serve a critical role for us as we provide services in conjunction with the Mississippi Apprenticeship Program (MAP) and the Mississippi Manufacturing Association-Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MMA-MEP),” said Rebecca Brown, PRCC’s Dean of Workforce and Community Development.

“We have a very strong workforce team at PRCC. Phillip’s unique background further enhances our ability to collaborate with and train for local businesses.”

 According to Duke, there are other benefits to the apprenticeship program for students besides developing professionally. Apprentices learn with a guaranteed wage increase as they achieve training milestones defined by a clear set of standards approved by the U.S. Department of Labor. There is clarity about exactly what objectives an employee needs to achieve to receive the associated benefits for reaching those goals.

At the completion of the apprenticeship, a national certificate is issued to the employee that is recognized throughout the U.S. and held in high regard in manufacturing.

Added Duke, “I know it will be a challenge but with my past experience in manufacturing I look forward to the opportunities ahead.”

Duke is based in the Woodall Center in Hattiesburg but serves all six counties within PRCC’s district. He can be reached at 601-554-5514, or by email: pduke@prcc.edu

For the latest news on Pearl River Community College, visit PRCC.edu and follow us on Twitter (@PRCC_Wildcats)  Instagram (PRCCWILDCATS) and Facebook(@PRCCMKTG).

The Benefits of Hiring Qualified Veterans

Recently, our nation celebrated Independence Day, which highlighted the many sacrifices veterans have made in their duty to protect the nation. July also features National Hire A Veteran Day, which is a holiday celebrated on July 25th that is dedicated to supporting veterans who are seeking employment.

In celebration of our nation’s independence, and in recognition of National Hire A Veteran Day, we’ve dedicated this article to exploring the variety of ways employers can help support veterans who may be re-entering the everyday workforce, and what resources are available for veterans.

When searching for competent employees, employers can count on veterans to be proven leaders, innovators, and maximizers. Veterans’ time on the front lines, combined with their formal training, organization, and sense of duty makes them the perfect additions to any team.

Every year, approximately 200,000 men and women leave U.S. military service and return to life as civilians, a process known as the “military to civilian transition”. It’s important for employers to post their job listings in places veterans can find them, and also to describe “competency-based” characteristics in job descriptions, instead of specific years of experience. This will allow service members transitioning into the workforce a chance to apply.

Like other employees, veterans may be interested in learning new trades or starting on new career paths. In this case, registered apprenticeship programs (RA) are essential, as they provide a solid foundation for both employees and employers to build on when establishing work culture, job skills, and workplace competency.  

The Mississippi Apprenticeship Program offers a variety of resources for employers to use in starting a RA at their business. And veterans make for ideal apprentices, with higher retention and commitment to their positions and the keen ability to work under pressure.  

Aside from apprenticeship programs, many veteran job programs in Mississippi are administered by The Mississippi Department of Employment Security (MDES) and are in offices known as WIN Job Centers. WIN Job Centers are one of the best resources for Veterans seeking employment in the state, as these centers service veterans first, provide support for job outreach, and offer on-site employment services such as one-on-one resume writing, job preparation assistance, and workshops.

MDES also offers veteran-specific services which include job training, job education, and rehabilitation services. It’s important for employers and veterans to look into these resources and to stay informed on what opportunities are available.

To all the veterans – Thank You for Your Service!

For more information on online services for veterans, go to: www.careeronestop.org/.

For more information on veterans’ services offered by MDES, visit:  www.mdes.ms.gov.

On Registered Apprenticeships: An Interview with Tyra Harrien

Tyra Harrien, MAP’s Administrative Assistant at the Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College (MGCCC), speaks on the importance, value, and benefits of her work. Harrien also gives useful tips to employees and employers that are looking to utilize the many advantages offered by registered apprenticeship (RA) programs. 

“I am the MAP administrative assistant so I do a lot of work behind the scenes.” Harrien says about her work, “I make sure that the classes and the materials for the apprentice are up and running and available.”

Harrien says that registered apprenticeships are “critical” to workforce development because they offer apprentices a way to learn “certified skills” while also earning a living wage. 

“Apprenticeships grow the economy by making American businesses more competitive,” Harrien says. “Having a registered apprenticeship program at your company, workers know in advance the blend of classroom instruction and on-the-job training. Several companies have documented that registered apprenticeships have helped them to increase recruitment, increase retention, and reduce their overall training costs.”

Harrien’s work with MAP and MGCCC  is to help promote registered apprenticeships across the Mississippi Gulf Coast, which can help improve the state’s economy. 

“The plan is to meet with more companies across the Gulf Coast and to help them understand that apprenticeship programs can help grow and flourish their company.” Harrien says, “Expanding apprenticeships in Mississippi can help address the economic challenges that Millennials face.”

To companies and employers looking to invest in registered apprenticeships, Harrien says the benefits of RAs include more skilled employees, reduced turnover costs, and increased employee retention.

Registered apprenticeship programs also offer a variety of benefits for employees. RAs are affordable and effective ways to explore a new career path, deepen your expertise, or sharpen your skill set.

To individuals looking to join a registered apprenticeship, Harrien had this to say: “If you are dedicated and want to better yourself just do it.” 

Welcome to the team: Antoine

Antoine Dixon, one of MAP’s newest team members, is excited for his role at The Mississippi Apprenticeship Program. Dixon will serve as MAP’s State Apprenticeship Expansion Specialist, and will work to improve Mississippi’s workforce by promoting and increasing the number of Registered Apprenticeship programs across the state. 

“My role within the Mississippi Apprenticeship Program,” Dixon says, “is to help expand Registered Apprenticeship programs and increase efforts to promote a better workforce within the state of Mississippi.” 

 Dixon says he’s looking forward to accomplishing three essential actions in his work: to build relationships, to create effective work plans, and to educate and support employers. 

“I look forward to building relationships between different institutions and business stakeholders interested in apprenticeship.” Dixon says, “ I want to create an effective work plan that caters to apprenticeship needs and helps programs to surpass goals set by The Office of Apprenticeship (OA). I also look forward to creating a bridge of support to apprentices and employers, so that they gain extensive knowledge of how apprenticeships can help sustain and transfer industry knowledge.”

Dixon’s previous work experience includes working for the Mississippi Development Authority (MDA) which involved working with a variety of departments within MDA to assist community organizations with applying for grant funding. His previous experience has helped him develop essential networking and communications skills that are critical to his work with MAP. 

When asked what motivates him about his new job, Dixon had this to say: 

“I am motivated by contributing to the cause of helping different communities thrive through apprenticeship. It was hard for me to gain the experience needed to land my first career job, so it’s exciting for a program to exist for individuals who may currently be in that situation.”

Economic Empowerment, Apprenticeships, and The Minority Male Leadership Initiative (M2M)

Now more than ever, it is important to be competitive in the workplace. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought on unemployment, job loss, and diminished income for thousands of communities across the nation. But for African American communities, these financial consequences have been especially dire and have created additional barriers for young men to secure steady and gainful employment. 

However, programs like The Minority Male Leadership Initiative (M2M), in collaboration with Hinds Community College (HCC)* provide essential tools, guidance, and resources for African American men to overcome socioeconomic barriers and to start their careers. 

Ahmad Smith, Recruitment and Outreach Coordinator at M2M and Josh Bower, Director of Talent Workforce and Economic Development at HCC, speak on their collaboration and partnership for M2M’s Economic Empowerment Workshop. They also speak on how M2M has helped students, specifically African American men, obtain economic empowerment, enroll in higher education, and be competitive in the workforce. 

Ahmad and Josh’s idea for M2M’s Economic Empowerment Workshop started through volunteering. 

“Ahmad and I were volunteering during Hinds CARES Day at the Genesis and Light Center in Jackson, which is a non-profit focusing on inner-city youth,” Josh explains. “During our volunteer work, we brainstormed ways to pair programs by the Workforce & Community Development Division with programs developed to assist students involved in the Minority Male Leadership Initiative (M2M).”

Ahmad and the M2M team developed the idea of the Economic Empowerment Workshop–a format that, according to Josh, “proved to be better at increasing participation among students on the Jackson Campus” than some of their earlier ideas.

M2M’s Economic Empowerment Workshop was organized at Hinds Community College on April 1, 2021 and supplied students with essential resources to support their employment efforts. These resources included WIN Job Centers and career-tech apprenticeships in programs such as Diesel Mechanics, Truck Driving, Production Technicians and Mechatronics. 

Outside of the workshop, M2M provides programs, both virtual and in-person, for students to achieve economic empowerment and employment. 

Economic Empowerment is defined by The Institute of Development Studies (IDS) as “the capacity of [under-served] women and men to participate in, contribute to, and benefit from [economic] growth processes” and also allows under-served individuals the freedom to “think beyond immediate survival needs” when it comes to financial expenses. 

In order to achieve economic empowerment, skills such as financial planning are crucial. These skills ensure that under-served young people are able to manage their expenses and plan for their futures. 

“Economic empowerment is part of our golden objective. We offer workshops on professional development, financial literacy, networking, and academic support training.” Ahmad says, “We need at least sixty percent of our participants to be a part of these workshops.”

And students are empowered in other ways. M2M provides educational empowerment to students by offering them opportunities to further their coursework. M2M works mainly with non-traditional age groups and community college students–students that are in different circumstances than their fresh-out-of-high school colleagues. These circumstances can sometimes hinder their progression toward obtaining a higher degree. 

“It’s not uncommon for us to work with students who have accumulated debt, work multiple jobs, or have young children to support.” Ahmad says, “The national graduation rate for community college students is under thirty percent for students who are completing a two year degree in three years. So, it is challenging.”

Although it’s challenging, M2M consistently works to encourage and empower African American men to continue their education. And it’s vital for Black men to continue their education, especially since they hold a small percentage of post-secondary degrees. Data from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), reveals that African American men hold only 14 percent of associate’s degrees awarded from post-secondary institutions in 2017 to 2018 and less than 9 percent of bachelor’s degrees.

One of the ways M2M helps students on their path to higher education is through college tours which are funded by the Department of Education. Students are taken to college campuses ranging from The University of Southern Mississippi to Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. These tours help motivate students to pursue higher education and give them first-hand experience on a college campus.

“When we are exposing these gentlemen to opportunities that can help them,” Ahmad says, “they’re more engaged.”

M2M also connects students to tutors, academic counselors, and mentors who help offer encouragement, empowerment, and guidance to students looking toward higher education. 

“[We’re] empowering [students] to make the decision for themselves and to come to education if that’s for them,” Ahmad says. 

And the benefits of obtaining a college degree can’t be overstated. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data consistently shows that higher educational attainment coincides with higher income and a lower rate of unemployment. Having a college degree has even proved useful during the pandemic with college educated Black Americans reporting to be in better financial situations than those with little to no college experience.

Obtaining a college degree can also increase workplace competitiveness, which is essential in today’s economy. Hinds offers students ways to increase their workplace competitiveness through key apprenticeship programs that offer related technical instruction in the classroom combined with essential on-the-job training through an industry partner. These connections are made possible through M2M’s partnership with HCC and with support from The Mississippi Apprenticeship Program (MAP). 

The benefits of apprenticeship programs can’t be overemphasized. Not only do apprenticeship programs bolster resumes, but they also make students more competitive when applying for jobs. Registered apprenticeships may also help students obtain incremental wage increases, nationally recognized credentials, and career advancement opportunities.

Ahmad and Josh say that they plan on cooperating and planning events again in the future and are grateful to MAP for helping bring attention and support to M2M and its many programs.  For more information on M2M or to sign up for services, visit their landing page on the Hinds Community College website.

*M2M is funded entirely by the Predominantly Black Institutions – Formula Grant (PBI-F) Grant program under the U.S. Department of Education. It’s because of the continued funding through the PBI-F grant that M2M and the Community and Workforce Development department at Hinds CC can continue an ongoing partnership.

Why Registered Apprenticeship Programs Are the Key to Boosting Employment

As COVID-19 cases decrease, and businesses across the country re-open, it’s important to know how to encourage, guide, and retain new employees. This is especially relevant considering that federal pandemic-related unemployment benefits end this month for many Mississippians. 

People that are currently unemployed may be looking for new career paths once these benefits end, and it’s important for employers to know how to capture their interests.

We spoke to Laura Ring*, Deputy Executive Director of External Relations for the Mississippi Department of Employment Security (MDES), for her insight on the benefits of registered apprenticeship programs, and how they can help fight unemployment and ultimately support people in their careers and lives. 

One of the most effective ways employers can capture their employees’ interest and loyalty is by offering registered apprenticeship programs. These registered apprenticeship programs, which are training models validated by the U.S. Department of Labor, are shared directly with industries and businesses alike through the Mississippi Apprenticeship Program (MAP). 

“An apprenticeship gives you real on-the-job training in a particular field and is a great way to jump-start the path to a lifelong career,” Ring says.

Employees, especially those who are just transitioning back into employment, may also gain additional benefits from registered apprenticeship programs. Employees can get a headstart on their careers, and may benefit from career advancement and wage increases as they hone their skills and build confidence in their profession.  

“An apprenticeship gives you real on-the-job training in a particular field and is a great way to jump-start the path to a lifelong career,” Ring says. “Careers you have invested in, can last until retirement. And they get you one step closer to discovering that special something you’ve never imagined.”

Ring had this to say to businesses looking to utilize apprenticeship programs: 

“After reading about MAP, I hope you will share this opportunity to change a life and invest in a career for your business and employees. And help spread the word. Let your partners know that an investment in this program is an investment in the future. The future of their employees and the future of their company.

I invite you to let MAP develop a customized program that will assist you in training new and current employees. MDES can help you MAP out a plan that is just right for you when it comes to the workforce. Step out of your comfort zone and experience the partnership MAP has for you!”

*Laura Ring is deputy executive director of External Relations for the Mississippi Department of Employment Security (MDES) and serves as the Top Executive Officer of the Mississippi Apprenticeship Program. Laura has 15 plus years of service with the agency. She has served in various roles in the Offices of Comptroller, Job Connections, and Grant Management. She holds a BS degree in Business Administration from the University of Southern Mississippi.