Hinds Community College will play key role in preparing workers - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Hinds Community College will play key role in preparing workers for Continental Tire

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JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

We've learned that community colleges were not just an after-thought for one of Mississippi's latest economic development projects. Instead, the workforce training opportunities are part of what attracted Continental Tire to Mississippi.

Continental Tire wanted reassurance that its 2,500 job openings would have skilled workers ready to step in. That's where Mississippi's community colleges come into play.

"We had a tremendous amount of success in this area," noted Dr. Shawn Mackey, Mississippi Community College Board's Deputy Executive Director for Programs and Accountability. "Of course most recently with the Yokohama tire plant. So we feel like we are conditioned, prepared and ready to do. We have a proven track record."

Hinds Community College will take the lead in workforce training for this project.

"Any type of sensor that you might find on the factory floor is incorporated into this training," said David Creel, Hinds Community College District Director of Manufacturing Training. "So it allows us to then take the students through real life examples of the particular different types of controls they'll use."

Creel said mechatronics is the integration of mechanics and electrical work. It's already offered as coursework but will be useful as they develop Continental Tire training.

"The company again is going to want people that have the necessary skill set that they bring with them," Mackey described. "But it may not be the Continental way."

A tailor made program will be developed. But the truth is, some of it will be so cutting edge that it's never been done.

"It's been a pretty in-depth procedure and some things we know and some things are yet to come," added Chad Stocks, Hinds Community College Vice President for Workforce Training.

Other community colleges will likely help take on some of the training load. The Gulfport development will benefit from the maritime training opportunities at their local schools.

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