Students and Faculty in the Precision Machining Engineering Technology program at Meridian Community College received a grant in the sum of 1.1 million dollars from the Mississippi Community College Board this week.
The money will fund the program which will benefit Meridian according to MCC staff.
“What this program is going to do for Meridian Community College is, it’s going to align our career technical education programs up with advanced manufacturing technology. Specifically, it’s going to address the skills gap that is so well identified statewide and nationwide.”
According to associate vice president for career education Richie Mcalister, this new program will make students competitive after graduating because of the courses offered.
“It’s going to help cross-train our students, not only in advanced manufacturing technology but in other programs as well; specifically system based electronics, telecommunications,3D-Cad engineering, mirror right, and precision manufacturing technology.”
Mcalister also says this grant will help reduce the shortage in manufacturer workers by providing students with advanced hands-on technology at MCC.
“For advanced factory trainees, it’s the fourth highest paid sector in the state, so it’s quite an opportunity here. To give you a good idea, there’s going to be a 3 in half million shortfalls in trainees in advanced manufacturing where two million are going unfilled, so this particular grant is going to address that shortage.”
Division chair Brian Warren says after students complete this program they will be ready to work and get paid.
“The typical graduate that finishes this program is anywhere from 18 to 23 dollars an hour when they leave the program."