Explore a New Way to Work

Dr. Mayfield, Mississippi Community College Board

As executive director of the Mississippi Community College Board (MCCB), one of my goals is to help ensure the state has a robust workforce that meets the demands of both current and potential businesses. Every day, this need is met through the outstanding work at each of our community colleges. With that thought, I am excited to contribute the first entry for the Mississippi Apprenticeship Program’s (MAP) Latitudes Blog—a platform for the sharing of ideas and success stories from business leaders, educators, apprentices, and others involved in this important work.

MAP is an exciting new work-based learning opportunity available to business and industry in the state. Offered through the MCCB in conjunction with participating community colleges, MAP works with businesses to help develop and implement a unique Registered Apprenticeship (RA) program to strengthen the skills of current and potential employees and allow business to build the workforce they need today and for the future. The “earn while you learn” model will help Mississippians from all backgrounds gain college credit, earn wages, and acquire valuable skills in competitive industries—all of which benefits employees, employers, and our state.

RA programs date back more than 80 years and help businesses grow their workforce through a combination of customized and rigorous on-the-job training and technical instruction. Programs are available in 1,500 occupations across 170 industries. Over time, the program has evolved from one that helped laborers have just enough skills to earn a minimum wage to today’s version that ensures employees have the skills required for high-tech careers in mechatronics, advanced manufacturing, and many other 21st century industries.

MAP is funded through a generous grant from the U.S. Department of Labor, and one exciting aspect of the program for businesses is that it costs nothing to participate. MCCB and community college staff have the experience to help your company develop an RA program suited to your specific needs and the expertise to help you implement it. Successful apprentices lead to successful businesses, so our team is available to assist you throughout the entire RA process.

The MCCB is excited to take the lead on such an important economic development project that can potentially benefit the state in so many ways. The state’s 15 community colleges are the entities that provide the workforce training that is critical to our state’s success, and MAP is another tool that can be used to ensure your employees have the skills that are necessary to be successful in their jobs.

I hope you will continue to read Latitudes articles in the coming months, as we will have submissions from various apprenticeship experts. You can sign up to receive our newsletter to receive updates when new articles are posted along with other information, and if you are interested in contributing or know of a story we should highlight, please get in touch. We are collecting stories from experienced apprenticeship specialists on the national, regional, and state levels, from business and industry leaders, and from those who have completed apprenticeship programs. It is our goal for this blog to serve as a resource for people to get information on ways that RA programs benefit our entire state workforce.

If your business is interested in participating in the Mississippi Apprenticeship Program, please reach out to our office at either info@mccb.edu or 601-432-6518 for additional information.

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