A four-year college degree isn’t for everyone. But with Mississippi’s community colleges bursting with programs to fill good-paying jobs in high demand, career opportunities are plentiful for Mississippians.
For the past year, Mississippi Public Broadcasting has worked to help advance education and career readiness in Mississippi communities, particularly for those ages 16-26, thanks to a $200,000 American Graduate grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. CPB awarded $3.7 million in grants to 19 public media stations in January 2018 for its American Graduate: Getting to Work initiative. The stations are working with local partners to assess workforce challenges and opportunities and produce local content focused on the essential skills needed for students and workers.
MPB has several partners for American Graduate, including Mississippi Community College Board, Mississippi Energy Institute, Mississippi Department of Employment Security - Governor's Job Fair Network of Mississippi, Mississippi Department of Vocational Rehabilitation and Mississippi Works.
Content is available on television, radio and online at gettingtowork.mpbonline.org. Careers in five sectors are highlighted. Here’s a breakdown of each sector:
Energy: Jobs include engineers, researchers and developers and can be found at companies that handle oil and gas reserves, oil and gas drilling and refining or integrated power utility companies. Salary range is $50,000-$100,000 annually.
Manufacturing: Jobs include those in shipbuilding, automotive, aerospace, and machinery. Manufacturing facilities are often described as plants, factories or mills and typically use power-driven machines and materials-handling equipment. Salary range is $36,000-$100,000 annually.
Logistics: Jobs are primarily at companies that handle transporting and warehousing goods either via trucking, rail, air or marine modes. Salary range is $45,000-$100,000 annually.
Information technology: Jobs involve evaluating operating systems, hardware, networking devices and software. Salary range is $47,220-$100,000 annually.
Healthcare: Jobs can range from nursing to medical coding/health information technology. Salary range is $30,000-$65,000.
In addition to creating content, MPB is hosting Workforce Wednesday Luncheons every third Wednesday to connect with new partners and stay abreast of workforce development in the state. Other efforts include attending job fairs and workforce development conferences as well as hosting luncheons for middle and high school counselors to promote American Graduate.
“Our goal with American Graduate is to present career pathways for jobs that produce a living wage for Mississippians,” said Sharon Person, MPB’s Director of Community Engagement. “Some programs at community colleges last a few months or weeks and lead to jobs in each sector often with minimum to no cost. If you or someone you know is in need of not only a job but a career, check out the website on this initiative at gettingtowork.mpbonline.org.”