Coahoma Community College (CCC) recently engaged more than 400 high school students in the Clarksdale area in a hands-on open house experience designed to expose them to trade-focused career opportunities in various industries. The students, who are all enrolled in vocational skills programs, toured the college’s vocational center, talked to instructors and current CCC students, and had a chance to participate in activities related to several vocational fields of study.
“Students had an opportunity to see exactly what goes on in a shop and inside a classroom to get full exposure to what they could expect if they choose to come to Coahoma,” said Earnest Bell, registered apprenticeship specialist and industrial maintenance technology instructor assistant with CCC. Bell says the career and technical education programs at CCC provide an alternative pathway for students who might want to enter the workforce quickly after high school. “We want to reach students while they are young and making decisions about their career path to introduce them to the many options they have if they choose to pursue vocational education and careers.”
CCC’s open house events coincided with National Apprenticeship Week (November 11-17, 2019), a nationwide celebration established by the U.S. Department of Labor to bring together leading business, labor, education, and other critical partners to showcase the impact apprenticeship programs have on closing the skills gap for the American workforce.
Bell plans to expand the college’s open house events in 2020 to invite business and industry leaders to visit the campus to learn more about the workforce training opportunities CCC offers that can help them train or retrain existing employees and recruit new ones. “We are training young, capable talent who are ready and willing to leave our institution and enter the workplace,” said Bell.
CCC also plans to launch a commercial truck driving apprenticeship next year as well as work with other industries in their area to design apprenticeship programs that provide students with the chance to earn a living while learning a new career. For more information about all of CCC’s workforce education offerings, visit their website.