We believe apprenticeship programs are a critical part of creating a robust, skilled workforce in Mississippi. That’s why we’ve expanded the Mississippi Apprenticeship Program’s (MAP) reach by adding three new members to our MAP team. We are excited to announce the addition of these talented individuals. Their work will help strengthen the state’s workforce by creating more opportunities for Mississippians to gain the skills they need to secure meaningful and financially rewarding careers.
Tonya Neely joined the Mississippi Community College Board (MCCB) as director of MAP and business engagement. In this role, she will lead efforts to bolster the state’s apprenticeship program by facilitating partnerships between community colleges, business and industry partners, and MCCB. Before beginning her work with MAP, Tonya worked in leadership roles for various state agencies for more than a decade. Most recently, she served as the business and economic development coordinator for the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning and the bureau manager for the division of tourism of the Mississippi Development Authority. Tonya is a graduate of Jackson State University, where she earned a Bachelor of Marketing and a Master of Business Administration. She is currently completing a Doctor of Philosophy in Higher Education Administration at the University of Southern Mississippi. Tonya is passionate about creating a thriving Mississippi where every person has an opportunity to succeed. She is excited to bring that passion and her professional experience to MAP to help more Mississippians discover a proven pathway to securing rewarding and family-sustaining careers.
Ayanna Lipsey joined the MCCB team as a MAP expansion specialist. In this role, she will help heighten and expand the awareness of the MAP program throughout the state by engaging and building partnerships with industry organizations, community leaders, core partners, and community colleges. Before beginning her work with MAP, Ayanna worked at Hinds Community College (HCC) in the Adult Education department as the district Smart Start coordinator. In that role, Ayanna developed and coordinated the SNAP E & T Program at the Jackson campus serving the ABAWD (Able-Bodied Adult Without Dependents) population which ultimately led to the establishment of a new HCC Adult Education campus, now housed at New Horizon Church in Jackson, MS. She is no stranger to building a program from the ground up. Ayanna is a three-time graduate of Belhaven University, where she earned her Bachelor of Business Administration, Master of Science in Leadership, and Master of Business Administration. Ayanna is excited to be a part of the MAP team. She believes her current role as an expansion specialist is the perfect merger of her business acumen, leadership skills, and higher education knowledge. One of her goals in life is to inspire and motivate young minds and help them to become productive and contributing members of society. She lives by the motto, “Service to others leads to greatness.” (by Jim Rohn)
Parks Graham serves as a MAP expansion specialist. In this role, he will help expand awareness of the MAP program throughout the state by engaging businesses and building partnerships with industry organizations, community colleges, and other community partners. Parks worked in several communications roles were he managed communications campaigns and content development before joining the MAP team. Most recently, he served as the media operations specialist for Wunderman Memphis, where he led digital and traditional media campaigns for various clients. Parks earned a Bachelor of Science in Integrated Marketing and Communications from the University of Mississippi. Parks is most excited that this job utilizes his creative skillset in a way that no other job has done before.
Join us in welcoming Tonya, Ayanna, and Parks to MAP. For a complete list of the MAP team, visit https://msapprenticeship.works/staff/.