Some 20,000 jobs are waiting for trained high tech workers in Mississippi, according to The Skills Foundation. As MPB's Desare Frazier reports the organization is working to close the skills gap.
Harrison Lanum of Brandon is talking about how software is used to operate traffic lights. The 23-year old is in the Industrial Maintenance program at Hinds Community College in Rankin County.
"That's basically maintenance, programming and construction of the big robotic assembly lines like the ones we have over there," said Lanum.
Lanum and his classmates are at the college with Mississippi Lt. Governor Tate Reeves to promote The Skills Foundation. It's a collaboration of public and private partnerships focused on creating a higher skilled workforce. The foundation measures the pace at which people are trained for high tech jobs at community colleges and four-year universities. Lt. Governor Reeves.
"Even though we have more people employed than any time in our state's history, the number of jobs available, particularly high skilled jobs continue to grow. We've got to continue to train the workforce. The Skills Index will give us the opportunity to measure whether or not we're actually producing more and more people to meet the demand," said Reeves.
As of 2017, Mississippi institutions have trained 6,000 for good paying high tech jobs according to the Skills Foundation. They want to double that number by 2025. Patrick Sullivan is with the Mississippi Energy Institute. He says people can obtain training in one and two year programs, earn $40,000 per year and grow their careers.
"We think there's not enough awareness, that people don't know that these are the best opportunities in the workforce," said Sullivan.
Sullivan says scholarships, apprenticeships and financial-aid are available. Visit getonthegridms.com