M2M holds economic empowerment workshop

Originally posted by Hinds Community College

By Danny Barrett Jr.

Ahmad Smith, left, Recruitment and Outreach Coordinator of the Minority Male Leadership Initiative (M2M), directs students Isiah Hightower, left, of Ridgeland, and Michael Mitchell, of Jackson. Hightower is studying Drafting and Design. Mitchell is studying Business Administration. (Photo credit to Hinds Community College)

JACKSON – The Minority Male Leadership Initiative (M2M) at Hinds Community College organized an economic empowerment workshop April 1 to assist students with their employment efforts.

“We highlighted some of the economic opportunity services offered by Hinds that students might not have known about during this time of continued economic uncertainty brought on by the pandemic,” said Ahmad Smith, recruitment and outreach coordinator with the program.

Services represented at the come-and-go workshop included the WIN Job Centers administered by the college, apprenticeships and internships available via career-tech programs of study such as Industrial Mechanics & Maintenance and Diesel Equipment Technology and the college’s Small Business Development Center.

“Everyone needs to start somewhere,” said Isaiah Hightower, of Ridgeland, who is studying Engineering Drafting & Design Technology. “We all have this information available to us and we need to start using it.”

Smith said 56 students attended the event, which occurred under COVID-19 protocols at the Jackson Campus-Academic/Technical Center.

“I was thoroughly impressed with the quality of our students,” said Jim Harper, director of the college’s Small Business Development Center. “Their questions for the center were in such detail that we have scheduled more time to meet with them. We will dive deeper into their questions of questions and the subject of entrepreneurism, since some had started a business and others had ideas that needed to be expanded.”

Students also learned about internships, apprenticeships and various career opportunities as a result of the college’s partnerships with industry.

“We also discussed the Hinds Career Services Center that assists with resumes and interviewing skills, as well as hosts College Central Network, which is an online job board where students and alumni can apply for employment opportunities,” said Josh Bower, director of Talent, Workforce & Economic Development for the college.