With February being national Career and Technical Education Month, Mayor Percy Bland has now proclaimed it to be celebrated here in Meridian.
“When you can take someone that’s making minimum wage or a little bit better and place them in a much better paying job, some of which are $40,000-$45,000 a year, you’ve really made an impact on them and their families. That’s really what it’s all about,” said Dr. Richie McAlister, who is the Associate Vice President of the Career Technology Education and Workforce here at Meridian Community College.
At MCC, there are fifty-two programs under their CTE and Workforce Program.
“We’re very fortunate here at MCC to have excellent hands-on facilities. We have our own campus radio station. We’re the only community college in the country that operates it’s own, full-power, commercial FM radio station,” said Media Production Technology Coordinator Josh Taylor. “MCC is a big economic driver for the community, and, in particular, with our CTE and Workforce programs. We provide pathways to industry and work for a lot of people in this community.”
Program Coordinator for the Health Information and Technology Program, Becky Higginbotham, says she believes the faculty at MCC is like no other and that they are not only focused on what they can teach students in the classroom, but also their futures.
“We’re teaching people a skill. They’re coming in here, and they’re able to learn a skill. Some of our programs are one-year programs. We actually have two programs that are one-year programs. The rest are two-year programs. We’re taking someone and teaching them a skill that they can go out and make a really good living doing,” said Higginbotham.
“We want to serve our students and get them into good paying jobs to improve their station in life. Individually, that’s what we want. The big picture is, to prepare tomorrow’s workforce to be competitive,” said Dr. McAlister in talking about the ultimate goal of the program.