http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=PT+Sans Hinds CC, partners celebrate Metrocenter Mall project

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Hinds CC, partners celebrate Metrocenter Mall project
Posted by
03 April

Hinds CC, partners celebrate Metrocenter Mall project

JACKSON – Donning hardhats and wielding sledgehammers, partners in a venture to create a “Comprehensive One-Stop Center” for workforce training and support services celebrated the launch of the project on March 29.

From left, Jackson Councilman Aaron Banks, Councilman De’Keither Stamps, Hinds County Board of Supervisors Mike Morgan, Councilman Charles Tillman, Hinds Board of Trustees President Paul Breazeale, Hinds President Dr. Clyde Muse, Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba, Central Mississippi Planning and Development District Workforce Training Director Mary Powers, Mississippi Community College Board President Lee Bush, Hinds County Supervisor Peggy Hobson Calhoun, Hinds Vice President Dr. Chad Stocks, Hinds District Director for Integrated Pathways Dr. Robin Parker, Retro-Metro Managing Partner Leroy Walker, and Hinds Director of Workforce Manufacturing Training David Creel (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

The center will house multiple career-technical and workforce training programs aimed at both high-tech training and middle-skill education along with support services in part of Metrocenter Mall.

The project to redevelop the former Belk and, previously, McRae’s department store into a 189,000-square-foot center for workforce training promises to be a driver of economic development for central Mississippi, speakers said.

“This is a very significant event in the life of Hinds Community College,” said Hinds President Dr. Clyde Muse before more than 200 guests at the announcement held inside the old store space. “It’s taken so many people to help bring this together.”

At the top of the list, Muse credited the Central Mississippi Planning and Development District and the Hinds County Board of Supervisors.

“It’s a collaboration between a lot of different agencies as well as community helpers,” Muse said. “A person no longer has to spend a lot of time trying to find agencies to help them get a job or be trained for a job. It’ll be right here. It’s going to be a wonderful economic development opportunity for our area, and it’ll serve 17 counties in this area of the state.”

The center would encompass now vacant space on both floors of the southeast end of Metrocenter mall that formerly housed bustling retail shops. The bottom floor will include an event area and programs for metal fab machining and welding. The top floor would include the bulk of the offices for all the partners and more classrooms, including those for mechatronics, robotics and 3D design.

Hinds would administer the center on behalf of all the partners, which includes multiple government agencies and private partners.

“None of this would be possible today without the support of the partners you’ve heard about,” said Dr. Chad Stocks, vice president for Career and Technical Education and Workforce Development, who thanked members of the partnership for exploring other venues in the Southeast during nearly two years of planning leading up to the announcement.

“The vision has always been there, and it’s given us an opportunity to repurpose this store, where the old arcade games will probably turn into simulators. Today, it’s not enough to get a job. You’ve got to get a skill for high-wage jobs and good careers,” he said.

Dr. Robin Parker, district director of Integrated Pathways at Hinds Community College, speaks to those gathered for the public announcement of the Comprehensive One-Stop Center at the former Belk department store at Metrocenter Mall in south Jackson. (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

Hinds County is allocating .92 mills of property taxes annually, or about $1.6 million, for the college’s share of the money to fund the operation. The center will not only be financially self-supporting through millage and external grant funding, but it also has the potential to increase enrollment by tapping into an unserved population of students.

Mike Morgan, president of the Hinds County Board of Supervisors, dreamed of a large sign that says “Hinds Community College” at the entrance. “What are people going to think when they see that sign? They’re going to think education; they’re going to think training,” he said.

The center also will have classrooms for MIBEST, a community college program that teaches adult students without a high school diploma both academic and technical skills so they will be job ready.

Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba said the project “checks so many boxes” for bringing south Jackson back to life. “There’s no reason for Highway 18 and Highway 80 to not look like Lakeland Drive.

“There was a day and time where you had people waiting for jobs,” Lumumba said. “Now, we have arrived at a point where we have jobs waiting for people.”

The center’s focus will also be on other workforce-related and support services for those students, such as job search, workshops, assistance with unemployment insurance benefits, funding to pay for career tech training, on-the-job training opportunities, TANF/ SNAP, Vocational Rehabilitation and others.

Officials who spoke at the ceremony, which capped off by having each take a sledgehammer to a wall that once divided parts of the old store, lauded the efforts of CMPDD, a key economic development agency for the region, for helping kick-start the project.

“For probably the first time in the history of workforce, we all came together with a common purpose in mind,” said Mary Powers, workforce director for the agency. “It was to develop a plan that would provide all of our services in concert together to meet the need of people and the businesses.

From left, Retro Metro Managing Partner Leroy Walker, Central Mississippi Planning and Development District Workforce Training Director Mary Powers, Hinds President Dr. Clyde Muse, Central Mississippi Planning and Development District Executive Director Mike Monk (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

“People will be able to get the services they need, the training they need and the skills they need to walk out the door with a job. And they’ll get all those services in the same place,” she said.

Once started, renovation is expected to take about six months.

“We’ve got to make the community better by having skilled workers in our community. That’s why we’re investing our money, our time and our resources in this effort,” said Leroy Walker, managing partner of Retro-Metro, which owns the space and will lease it to Hinds.

Walker said a revitalized mall with workforce development as its focus will be a “generator” for economic development in the area around the former retail mecca where highways 80 and 18 essentially meet.

The college’s administrative functions for MIBEST, Adult Basic Education, the Early Childhood Academy and career-tech programs related to manufacturing could be moved to the One-Stop Center in the future to support the initiative.

Hinds President Dr. Clyde Muse, with one of the sledgehammers used to signify the start of renovations for the Comprehensive One-Stop Center in the former Belk department store at Metrocenter Mall. (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

“To put this in perspective, the workforce training and student service area equates to three football fields of space,” said Dr. Robin Parker, District Director of Integrated Pathways, which involves programs such as MIBEST that links high school and college credentials with job-training. “Throughout the process of working on this project, we have heard so many Metrocenter stories. We are thrilled to be a part of writing the next chapter.”

 

0 612 03 April, 2018 News more
Ag alum credits department icons for his success
Posted by
28 March

Ag alum credits department icons for his success

 Note: The following story appears in the spring issue of Hindsight alumni magazine. For more information about the Hinds Alumni Association, see the website. To apply for a Hinds Community College Foundation scholarship, go to the Admissions tab on college web site at www.hindscc.edu or click here.

Almost anyone with fond memories of their days as a student at Hinds Community College has a favorite “Hinds story.” Matt Woods is no exception.

Matt Woods

His favorite story involves an apple and what he carried on as a family tradition in English instructor Jenny Muse’s class. It started with his father, Alvin Woods, who walked into Muse’s class “brushing an apple on his shirt, plopped it on her desk and winked at her.”

Matt Woods remembered the story when he started at Hinds the week after he graduated from high school.

“A group of us from south Jackson rode together here for the first day of class. I told the others I’d be a little late, but I’d be there in just a second,” he recalled.

Muse “called roll and got to ‘Matt Woods,’ then said ‘I guess he’s not going to be with us today.’ I opened the door and walked through everybody up to her desk and said, ‘Ms. Muse, I apologize for my tardiness’ while I shined an apple on my shirt. I plopped it on her desk and winked at her.

“She said, ‘You’ve got to be Alvin Woods’ son!’”

Once he got inside the classroom, Woods found success and honed skills learned being around his father’s feed mill. He was a member of the Agriculture Club and the livestock judging team. He credits a handful of people who Woods said were “more than just instructors” to him, including Billie Banes, Drs. Thad Owens, Bill Dixon and Roger Jones. Jones has worked at Hinds since 1970 and still chairs the college’s Agriculture Department. The tutelage helped Woods earn his bachelor’s degree from Mississippi State University, in Agriculture Education.

“They prepared us for college life and the real world,” he said. “And they did it with a caring, yet firm hand.”

Jones remembers seeing signs of success early in Woods’ days as a student.

“Matt was a very conscientious and hardworking student that was always very mature for his age,” Jones said. “I have seen him use skills he had in student organizations at Hinds, along with the knowledge he gained as a student here and at Mississippi State University to become very successful. I am proud of the man he has become.”

Woods worked at his father’s feed mill briefly after college, then returned to Hinds in 1995 to earn an Emergency Medical Technology certificate to bolster his stock as a volunteer firefighter in Learned. In 1998, he took up a job offer from Jackson-based Cal-Maine Foods – the nation’s largest producer and marketer of shell eggs – after mulling becoming a teacher himself. He worked in the central purchasing area for 17 years before becoming chief of the company’s feed mill in 2015.

“The most rewarding part of my job is to look at the eggs we produce and to know those birds were fed through feed mills I’m responsible for,” he said. “It’s also very challenging because we want to be the most wholesome, safest food source there is.”

He has also been a hand-up to some of the best students who’ve graduated from the Agriculture Department in recent years. That includes Christopher McCloud, who manages the company’s feed mill in Watts, Okla., and Austin Van Etten, an assistant manager in Hammond, La. “The students who come through the department here have the skills and knowledge to either step straight into the workforce and be a productive employee, or go on to a university and pursue a bachelor’s degree,” he said.

His Hinds experience has continued beyond his days as a student. As a member of the advisory council for the Agriculture Department, he helped develop the curriculum for the Animal Science Technology, Poultry Option class introduced in 2015.

“If Hinds Community College went further than two years, I’d probably be working on my tenth doctorate degree right now,” he said. “I would never have left. Nothing compared to my time here. It made for an easy transition from being a high school kid to being a college student.”

0 309 28 March, 2018 News more
Hinds CC academic, technical graduates thrived upon return to school
Posted by
18 December

Hinds CC academic, technical graduates thrived upon return to school

PEARL – Justice Munn is a third-generation member of his family’s business, Munn Enterprises, but found himself at a crossroads just a year ago in his young, adult life.

His skills as a mechanic were being tested mightily by the evolving technology of today’s diesel engines. “You can’t even diagnose today’s engines without a computer,” Munn said.

Justice Munn (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

“I’m a mechanic and I wanted to return to school for better pay and a chance to open my own shop,” said Munn, of Sumrall, as he prepared to earn career and technical certificates from Hinds Community College during graduation ceremonies held Dec. 15 at the Muse Center on the Rankin Campus.

Being in the Diesel Equipment Technology program helped him hone his skills and opened doors to earning further credentials down the road – all the while setting him up to earn more money now.

“I enjoyed it at Hinds,” he said. “I would do it again in a heartbeat.”

Hinds Community College graduated more than 1,000 students in the three ceremonies.

“The power of education is that it drives our vision for a better life. And, while the graduates who sit upon this stage today represent a diverse set of circumstances, they are connected by their belief that a community college education is a step up to a broader opportunity to build a better life and to contribute to the communities in which we live,” said Hinds president Dr. Clyde Muse in his address to graduates.

Student diplomas this year included a gold seal celebrating the college’s 100th anniversary.

Among the graduates, 129 achieved summa cum laude, a 4.0 grade point average; 74 achieved magna cum laude, a 3.6 to 3.99 GPA and 21 achieved cum laude, 3.2 to 3.59.

Lychanda Brown, left, and Jennifer Burnett (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

The spirit of achievement also reached Hinds faculty who returned to the classroom to build skills.

“In cosmetology, we have to market ourselves anyway,” said Lychanda Brown, of Raymond, an instructor of Cosmetology at the Utica Campus. Brown earned an Associate of Applied Science in marketing, as well as career and technical certificates.

For Jennifer Burnett, a custodian on the Utica Campus, it was a chance to get into computer programming, in which she earned a career certificate. “It was time to move on up,” Burnett said.

Speaking to academic and career and technical education graduates was Joy Rhoads, a history and geography instructor at the Rankin Campus and coordinator of the campus’ Honors Institute.

Rhoads told graduates to be open to all the challenges life might bring after graduation, using her own experience as a master’s student as an example.

“I realized, very quickly, that being Joy the student was a vastly different experience than being Ms. Rhoads the instructor,” Rhoads said. “Discerning how to effectively balance my family, my job, and my schoolwork was another challenge to an already challenging degree path. It truly was an epiphany – my light bulb moment – when I understood that all my students face many of these very things and more. So, when you are navigating what comes next, be open to being humbled.”

From left, Ashlyn Cole, Tomaz Buckley and Crisanthony Frazier, all of whom earned degrees Dec. 15 with the Deaf and Hard of Hearing program (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

LaKendra Cork, right, of Louise, prepares for graduation ceremonies Dec. 15 at Hinds Community College. Cork earned an Associate of Applied Science in Early Childhood Education Technology. (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From left, Meagan Frey and Tia Fortenberry,
both of whom completed the Paralegal Technology program (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

Jonathan Graham was among more than 1,000 who graduated Dec. 15 from Hinds Community College. Graham earned an Associate of Applied Science degree and was part of the M2M program at Hinds. (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From left, Jason Holman, Taylor Houston and Cortland Hay, all of whom earned credentials after completing computer technology programs at the college (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

Bethany C. Johnson, center, of Vicksburg, was among more than 1,000 who graduated from Hinds Community College in ceremonies held Dec. 15. She earned an Associate of Arts degree in Veterinary Technology. With her, from left, is her boyfriend Douglas Vice, her sister Ashley Johnson, her mother Beverly Johnson, her brother-in-law Richard Berryman, her father Jimmy Johnson and sister Jamie Johnson. (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From left, Madison Spell, of Raymond, and Martha McPhail, of Kosciusko (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

From left, Rico West and Richard Newell, both of Jackson and earned credentials in Welding Technology (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From left, Secrett Winters and Denitta White, both of Jackson and earned degrees in Business Technology (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

 

 

0 668 18 December, 2017 News more
Grandmother’s pursuit of passion highlights Hinds CC fall graduation
Posted by
08 December

Grandmother’s pursuit of passion highlights Hinds CC fall graduation

JACKSON – Kneedra Bell grew up watching TV’s original food personality, Julia Child, explain the finer points of cooking and saw herself in the down-to-earth, sometimes mistake-prone host of “The French Chef.”

Kneedra Bell, of Clinton, a culinary arts student at Hinds Community College, moves some marinated shrimp from one pan to another during the third annual Fall FEASTival at Township at Colony Park in Ridgeland on Oct. 26, 2017. Teams of Hinds culinary students from the Jackson Campus competed against each other at the event, which was presented by the Partnership for a Healthy Mississippi. (Hinds Community College/Danny Barrett Jr.)

“Watching Julia made me feel good about mistakes because that taught viewers like me that it was OK to make a mistake,” Bell said. “She showed us that mistakes can teach us to do it better or correctly the next time we try.”

Bell, 51, who was born in Edwards and grew up in Los Angeles where her family moved, later attended college in California and majored in chemical engineering, which at the time she viewed as an adequate career path for a single, unwed mother who needed to support an infant daughter. “But, engineering was not my passion – cooking was, which made it easier for me to simply chose to stop going to college and work full-time to support my family. I promised I would “one day” return to college to complete my college education.”

Nearly 30 years, two marriages and five grandchildren later, she’s about to make good on that promise. On Dec. 15, she joins more than 1,000 other students who will earn their credentials from Hinds Community College in three ceremonies at the Muse Center on the Rankin Campus.

In addition to the Associate of Applied Science degree and career and technical certificates she’ll have, she will have also earned the respect of peers and instructors on many fronts. She’s worked five days a week as a bus driver for the Clinton Public School District while attending classes and study groups at Jackson Campus-Academic/Technical Center.

“She is the first to arrive, last to leave and is completely giving of herself, her time, and her talents,” said Chef Austin Lee, director of the Culinary Arts Institute at Hinds. “And she is more interested in the team crossing the finish line than making it herself.”

For Bell, it’s a team that includes her “culinary family” of classmates in the kitchen, her “student-children” on her bus each morning and, of course, her own three children and five grandchildren.

“Being a single mom made juggling my job, school and my home life a demanding challenge,” she said. “My schoolwork became my social life. I established a committed relationship with my books. I had a date-night seven nights a week with my homework. I embraced the struggle of my doing my homework in tandem with helping my children with their homework.

“Hinds Community College will always be a historic landmark in my heart that marks a successful chapter in my life’s journey.”

0 656 08 December, 2017 News more
Hinds CC partnership with industry plays key role in state’s first apprenticeship registry
Posted by
02 November

Hinds CC partnership with industry plays key role in state’s first apprenticeship registry

RICHLAND – Empire Truck Sales and Stribling Equipment, who partner with Hinds Community College on the Diesel Equipment Technology Academy in Richland, have signed an agreement with the college to become the first businesses to participate in the Mississippi Apprenticeship Program.

From left, Glenn McCullough, executive director of the Mississippi Development Authority, Hinds President Dr. Clyde Muse, Dr. Andrea Mayfield, executive director of the Mississippi Community College Board, Jerry Swanson, CEO of Empire Truck Sales and Stribling Equipment and Gov. Phil Bryant (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

The program aims to develop new and diverse sponsors for registered apprenticeship and expand the state’s capacity to support them. MAP, an initiative led by Gov. Phil Bryant’s office, the Mississippi Community College Board in partnership with community colleges and their partners in business, industry and other sectors, the Mississippi Department of Employment Security and the Mississippi Development Authority, will provide resources to industries across the state to support employee on-the-job training.

Principals in the effort signed the agreement Oct. 31 at the Hinds Diesel Equipment Technology Academy in Richland. They included Hinds President Dr. Clyde Muse, Jerry Swanson, president of Empire Truck Sales and Stribling Equipment, Woodrow Middleton, state director for the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Apprenticeship and Dr. Andrea Mayfield, executive director of the Mississippi Community College Board.

“It’s been a great partnership with Hinds and you see a number of the students here today as evidence of the support they’re receiving from those two companies,” Muse said during a brief program before the signing. He also noted the experienced assistance, scholarships and up-to-date equipment available to students in the program.

Bryant credited the Legislature for allocating about $50 million for workforce training programs and the U.S. Department of Labor for being a valuable partner for the MAP, specifying a “unified and cooperative federalism” between the state and the federal Cabinet department.

Students and instructors in the Diesel Equipment Technology program at Hinds Community College gather with state officials including Gov. Phil Bryant during a ceremony Oct. 31 to become part of the Mississippi Apprenticeship Program. (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

“The Mississippi Apprenticeship Program and the partnership between Empire Truck Sales, Stribling Equipment and Hinds Community College will allow individuals at these two businesses to learn real-world job skills necessary for them to be successful employees,” Bryant said.

The trucking industry, specifically the field of modern-day diesel mechanic work, was an appropriate backdrop for the signing ceremony. Gov. Phil Bryant’s father was a diesel mechanic and worked at Empire during his professional career. The host facility for the ceremony is a state-of-the-art complex where students train on the latest technology in the ever-evolving field of diesel mechanics. The accelerated career pathway allows students to earn technical and career certificates with a chance to earn a full Associate of Applied Science degree. Once in the field, diesel technicians can work their way up to certifications that pay up to $73,000 annually.

“As a workforce strategy, with on-the-job training experience, the apprentice has the opportunity to earn and learn,” Mayfield said. “And they also make connections in the workplace.”

“Everybody here is a stakeholder in this adventure,” Swanson said, crediting Dr. Chad Stocks, vice president of Workforce Development at Hinds, for his role in helping turn the college’s already vibrant partnership into Tuesday’s event. “With his leadership, this has happened and we’re very proud of it.”

1 780 02 November, 2017 News more
Hinds CC instructor drafts new career as Fab Lab director
Posted by
26 September

Hinds CC instructor drafts new career as Fab Lab director

Note: The following story appears in the fall issue of Hindsight alumni magazine. For more information about the Hinds Alumni Association, see the website.

RAYMOND – Phil Cockrell has struck when the iron was hot, so to speak, many times in his professional career.

These days, the material he works with is more plastic than iron and his equipment is actually the “coolest” on campus.

Phil Cockrell, inside the Fab Lab (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

Phil Cockrell, inside the Fab Lab (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

Cockrell, a Magee native and Brandon resident, instructs courses in the Engineering and Drafting Design Technology program. He’s also the director of the Fab Lab on the Raymond Campus, which opened in August. He says it’s a place where students, faculty, industry and the public alike can, as Cockrell puts it, “Imagine, design and build.”

“It’s for prototyping products for any number of purposes, and it’s open to students, faculty and the public,” Cockrell said. “Theoretically, you could come up with an idea for a product and patent it, as teenagers in similar labs in other states have done.”

Located in the Vocational Technical Building A, the lab is outfitted with 3-D printing machines, laser cutters and related equipment capable of etching designs or cutting flat sheet material such as acrylic and metal. The resulting prototypes are limitless – from small trinkets such as a cartoon character’s crown to a full 3-D reproduction of parts used in heavy industry and the human form itself.

Printing in 3-D involves programming a set of instructions into a central control panel or a separate computer, then loading the appropriate material – often forms of polyvinyl plastic – into a feeder line where the material is melted and flows through mechanical arms to “print” an object based on the instructions.

The lab was financed through the Predominantly Black Institutions Formula grant and is the first member lab in Mississippi of the U.S. Fab Lab Network, a group of 76 high schools, colleges, universities and businesses nationwide. An introductory non-credit course launched the lab in August 2017  for students while Cockrell began training instructors to become certified on the equipment.

A mechanical arm inside a 3D printer prints an object in the Fab Lab. (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

A mechanical arm inside a 3D printer prints an object in the Fab Lab. (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

All the heady technology has transformed what was once simply called drafting, said Cockrell, a former Simpson County sheriff’s deputy who switched careers to return to school at age 28.

“I was getting married and I wanted to make a career change,” he said. “I did some research, and drafting and design was getting to be a hot field. Hinds’ program had a really good reputation, so I got out of law enforcement and came back to school.”

Cockrell’s wife, Rebecca, graduated from the Associate Degree Nursing program at Hinds and is Learning Lab/Clinical Placement coordinator at the Jackson Campus-Nursing/Allied Health Center.

He earned an Associate of Applied Science degree in Drafting and Design Technology, graduating summa cum laude. It was a line of work that was changing along with the world itself, as the Internet opened new possibilities.

“Technology made things easier,” he said. “Instead of working out a set of house plans by hand, I could sit at a computer and do a set of house plans in a fraction of the time. I could manipulate it a lot easier on a computer than by hand.

“As a student, I was well-prepared for the industry, as I worked part-time doing small parts for air conditioning systems and in construction,” he said. “Eventually, I was able to take a building, design it, estimate it and project-manage it. Hinds prepared me to do that.”

His instructors took note of his skill set when the time came to launch his second career.

“Phil was always a class leader, the first to volunteer for outside projects and excelled in his coursework,” said Cindy West, dean of Career and Technical Education for the Raymond Campus and Cockrell’s instructor for Drafting and Design. “Phil’s name was always at the top of my ‘short list’ of former students to call in the event there was ever an open instructor position.”

While the Cockrells vacationed in late 2007, and after he contemplated going to nursing school, a position indeed came open and his teaching vocation began.

“I enjoy the classroom setting, especially watching students as they start to get the concept. That’s a joy.”

[tweetable alt=””]Hinds CC instructor drafts new career as Fab Lab director[/tweetable]      

0 678 26 September, 2017 News more
Summer interns at Continental have tuition at Hinds CC paid by company
Posted by
11 September

Summer interns at Continental have tuition at Hinds CC paid by company

RAYMOND – Four Hinds Community College students who interned with Continental Tire over the summer have even more of a reason to cherish their nine weeks of paid training at the company’s tire plant in Mount Vernon, Ill.

Continental has covered tuition for the fall 2017 semester for Dylan Canant, Mack Pope, Samuel Williams and Cody Waddell. The students had been placed at Continental’s maintenance department for on-the-job experience in electrical, electronic, mechanical and hydraulic systems.

Hinds students Dylan Canant, from left, Mackie Pope, Samuel Williams and Cody Waddell spent their summer as interns for Continental Tire in Mount Vernon, Ill. (Submitted to Hinds Community College)

Hinds students Dylan Canant, from left, Mack Pope, Samuel Williams and Cody Waddell spent their summer as interns for Continental Tire in Mount Vernon, Ill. (Submitted to Hinds Community College)

The students’ enthusiasm and aptitude for their budding careers with the company building a $1.45 billion plant in western Hinds County near Clinton that’s planned to open in 2019.

“During my visit to Mount Vernon, I heard nothing but positive feedback about our interns from Mississippi. They obviously did a great job and were great ambassadors,” said Michael Egner, project manager with Continental. “The student’s success is proof that we’ve found a strong partner in Hinds Community College. Together, we can build a great workforce and future for Continental in Mississippi.”

Pope, an Electronics student on the Raymond Campus, and Canant, an Electrical Technology student on the Raymond Campus, counted the exposure to new people and faces as a plus to go along with the diversified workforce training.

“Being an electronics tech I came here expecting to do electronics,” Pope said. “However I was hired as a multi-tech, meaning that I would also do electricians and mechanics work on top of that. It has been a wonderful experience meeting new people.”

“My experience has been really great and I am really proud of myself and the people who pushed me to do this,” Canant said. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime thing for anybody who gets this opportunity. It is one of the best experiences I have ever had in my life.”

Waddell, an Industrial Mechanics and Maintenance Technology student at the Vicksburg-Warren Campus, took note during his internship of the vibrant culture that existed in the plant as he learned to troubleshoot, install and repair tire components in the mixing department.

“This company cares about their employees and it’s obvious to anyone who works here,” Waddell said. “And that alone is most interesting thing to me about this experience.”

Maintenance technicians will be some of the first positions filled when hiring begins in the commercial vehicle tire plant in late 2018. As one of the key roles in Continental’s daily operations, maintenance technicians are responsible for both reactive and preventive maintenance of equipment throughout the facility.

Williams, an Industrial Maintenance Technology student at the Rankin Campus, hopes to fill one of those roles thanks to the unique opportunity he had this past summer.

“I’ve learned new things I didn’t think were possible,” Williams said, adding he learned correct workplace safety tips through the use of Personal Protective Equipment. “This has been one of the best opportunities of my life and I am truly blessed to be a part of it.”

[tweetable alt=””]Summer interns at Continental have tuition at Hinds CC paid by company[/tweetable]

 

0 654 11 September, 2017 News more
Deaf student starts new career thanks to Hinds CC, KLLM Driving Academy
Posted by
08 September

Deaf student starts new career thanks to Hinds CC, KLLM Driving Academy

RICHLAND – Byron Davis decided last year it was time for a change of life and career after years spent in low-paying jobs.

Byron Davis, center, completed the KLLM Driving Academy program this past summer and is now a lead solo driver with the company. With him are Charli Vos, an interpreter with the Mississippi Department of Rehabilitation Services, left, and Loretta Sutton, an interpreter and coordinator in Disability Support Services with Hinds Community College, right. (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

Byron Davis, center, completed the KLLM Driving Academy program this past summer and is now a lead solo driver with the company. With him are Charli Vos, an interpreter with the Mississippi Department of Rehabilitation Services, left, and Loretta Sutton, an interpreter and coordinator in Disability Support Services with Hinds Community College, right. (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

What made his decision different from most was a challenge he’d been overcoming for years – but with the help of a partnership between Hinds Community College and KLLM Driving Academy, he motored right past it and plans to keep on trucking.

Davis, 38, Southaven native, lost his hearing during childhood as a result of an illness. Since high school, he’d worked a series of jobs in shipping and receiving and in auto body work. “I wasn’t happy doing it,” Davis said through an interpreter. “The pay wasn’t enough for me and wasn’t enough of a challenge.”

After a friend recommended the KLLM Driving Academy at Hinds, Davis sought and qualified for a waiver from the state allowing him to apply for a commercial driver’s license. With the help of two interpreters provided by the Mississippi Department of Rehabilitation Services, he completed the program this past summer and is now employed as a lead solo driver with the Richland-based transport company.

In the program, housed at KLLM’s facility in Richland, Davis learned the ins and outs of properly driving a big rig – upshifting, downshifting, proper lane changes and turning, space management and correct mirror usage. The curriculum also trains people to safely transport hazardous materials. Overall, it’s geared to help new drivers achieve the industry’s top priority, which is safety.

“You really have to focus with it, and you can’t play around,” he said. “I feel good about myself for having passed the course.”

Hinds’ partnership with KLLM to train truck drivers at the company’s Richland headquarters and boost their ranks began in fall 2012. KLLM handles the training. Hinds handles the coursework. The facility itself opened in March 2014.

Byron Davis completed the KLLM Driving Academy program this past summer and is now a lead solo driver with the company. (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

Byron Davis completed the KLLM Driving Academy program this past summer and is now a lead solo driver with the company. (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

“Byron was determined to provide for his family and fulfill his dream of becoming a truck driver,” said Josh Denson, manager of the KLLM Driving Academy and former disability examiner with MDRS. “He was able to accomplish all of these things through the opportunity provided by Hinds Community College and KLLM Transport Services.”

Davis credited the company and the Disability Support Services department at Hinds for taking care of the little things – such as the company paying for his bus ticket to town, helping to learn his schedule, and other things to “help get settled in”, he said.

“It’s been quite the partnership between Hinds, the Department of Rehabilitation and KLLM,” said Loretta Sutton, interpreter and coordinator in the college’s program that assists people with various physical challenges achieve their educational goals. “The three of us have been working together to make sure he’s very successful in this program.”

That success figures to have him on a fast track to a solid new career.

“My instructors have had a positive effect on me,” he said. “Some of them didn’t know anything about working with deaf students, but one of my instructors rode with me and learned some basic sign language so he can communicate with me.

The next major mile marker for Davis is obvious.

“I’d like to become an independent driver and own my own truck,” he said.

[tweetable alt=””]Deaf student starts new career thanks to #Hinds CC, KLLM Driving Academy [/tweetable]

 

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Hinds CC academic, technical grads thrived upon return to school
Posted by
15 May

Hinds CC academic, technical grads thrived upon return to school

PEARL – Barbara Evans and Lattie Erving didn’t know each other before Friday, but already had a lifetime of work experience under their respective belts when they decided to pursue college degrees.

Barbara Evans, left, and Lattie Erving, share a moment before graduation ceremonies May 12 at the Muse Center at Hinds Community College Rankin Campus. Evans, of Vicksburg, and Erving, of Jackson, both returned to school to earn college degrees after having been retired for years. (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

Barbara Evans, left, and Lattie Erving, share a moment before graduation ceremonies May 12 at the Muse Center at Hinds Community College Rankin Campus. Evans, of Vicksburg, and Erving, of Jackson, both returned to school to earn college degrees after having been retired for years. Evans graduated summa cum laude. (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

“I’d always wanted to go to culinary school, so I said why not?” said Evans, 64, of Vicksburg, dressed in her cap and gown accented with marks of honors. The self-described retired cook now has a credential to go with her years spent in the kitchen.

Erving, 62, Jackson, had retired years ago from factory work but always yearned for a chance to earn a college degree – something that seemed out of reach when she was growing up.

“I didn’t have an opportunity to go to college years ago,” Erving said. “I want to study social work with my degree.”

Both were among those who graduated from Hinds Community College over two days of ceremonies Friday and Sunday.

Students received 1,534 degrees and certificates, meaning some graduates received more than one credential. Of that number, almost 800 chose to participate in one of the three ceremonies on Friday at the Muse Center on the Rankin Campus in Pearl or a Sunday ceremony at the Utica Campus.

April Galjour, of Jackson, prepares to line up to enter the stage before graduation ceremonies May 12 at the Muse Center at Hinds Community College Rankin Campus. Galjour earned a Technical Certificate and graduated cum laude. (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

April Galjour, of Jackson, prepares to line up to enter the stage before graduation ceremonies May 12 at the Muse Center at Hinds Community College Rankin Campus. Galjour earned a Technical Certificate and graduated cum laude. (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

Also earning a long-awaited degree was April Galjour, 55, of Jackson, who returned to school to pursue new skills in a changing economy.

“I was laid off the nonprofit I was working for, and I didn’t know anything about computers,” Galjour said. “Even small jobs nowadays, you have to keep up with that. I’m just delighted I was able to come back at my age.”

Speaking at the 11 a.m. ceremony was state Sen. Briggs Hopson III, of Vicksburg.

“You’re receiving a piece of paper that is your license to a successful career,” Hopson told graduates. “It will make you competitive in the marketplace. You’re ready to go out right now and begin your careers.

“I have many friends who’ve gotten their associate’s degree and gone on to do incredibly well in their professions. They make good livings, are able to care for their families, built careers and established a nest egg.”

Of all graduates, 97 achieved summa cum laude, a 4.0 grade point average; 165 achieved magna cum laude, 3.6 to 3.99 GPA and 255 achieved cum laude, 3.2 to 3.59.

“This is a time we as educators enjoy celebrating,” said Hinds President Dr. Clyde Muse. He noted that student diplomas this year will include a gold seal commemorating the college’s 100th anniversary. Hinds opened in 1917 and is celebrating the Centennial with a host of activities throughout the calendar year.

[tweetable alt=””]Students return to school, thrive, graduate from Hinds CC[/tweetable]

 

Photo 11 – Elizabeth Coleman smiles as Laura Stevens adjusts her cap before graduation ceremonies May 12 at the Muse Center at Hinds Community College Rankin Campus. Coleman, of Madison, earned an Associate of Applied Science in Medical Data Technology. (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

Elizabeth Coleman smiles as Laura Stevens of Hinds Community College adjusts her cap before graduation ceremonies May 12 at the Muse Center at Hinds Community College Rankin Campus. Coleman, of Madison, earned an Associate of Applied Science in Medical Data Technology. (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

Photo 12 – Felix Davis, left, of Jackson, shares a moment with Dr. Robin Parker graduation ceremonies May 12 at the Muse Center at Hinds Community College Rankin Campus. Davis earned technical and career certificates this past semester after earning his High School Equivalency through the MI BEST program at Hinds. Parker is assistant dean for Career and Technical Education on the Raymond Campus. (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

Felix Davis, left, of Jackson, shares a moment with Dr. Robin Parker before graduation ceremonies May 12 at the Muse Center at Hinds Community College Rankin Campus. Davis earned technical and career certificates this past semester after earning his High School Equivalency through the MI BEST program at Hinds. Parker is assistant dean for Career and Technical Education on the Raymond Campus. (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bailey Ainsworth, of Brandon, poses with the Associate of Arts degree in Radiologic Technology presented to her during graduation ceremonies May 12 at the Muse Center at Hinds Community College Rankin Campus. (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

Bailey Ainsworth, of Brandon, poses with the Associate of Arts degree in Radiologic Technology presented to her during graduation ceremonies May 12 at the Muse Center at Hinds Community College Rankin Campus. (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

Semaj Brown, of Clinton, holds the Associate of Arts degree in Physical Therapist Assistant Technology presented to her during graduation ceremonies May 12 at the Muse Center at Hinds Community College Rankin Campus. With her is Erica Brown, her mother, left, and James Brown, her father. (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

Semaj Brown, of Clinton, holds the Associate of Arts degree in Physical Therapist Assistant Technology presented to her during graduation ceremonies May 12 at the Muse Center at Hinds Community College Rankin Campus. With her is Erica Brown, her mother, left, and James Brown, her father. (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kennedy Garner, of Brandon, holds the Associate of Arts degree presented to her during graduation ceremonies May 12 at the Muse Center at Hinds Community College Rankin Campus. With her is Kyle Garner, left, a brother, Scott Garner, her father, Rhonda Garner, her mother, and Kreg Garner, a brother. (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

Kennedy Garner, of Brandon, holds the Associate of Arts degree presented to her during graduation ceremonies May 12 at the Muse Center at Hinds Community College Rankin Campus. With her is Kyle Garner, left, a brother, Scott Garner, her father, Rhonda Garner, her mother, and Kreg Garner, a brother. (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

Wayne Dang, of Pearl, holds the Associate of Applied Science degree in Computer Network Technology presented to him during graduation ceremonies May 12 at the Muse Center at Hinds Community College Rankin Campus. With him is Brianne Blair, left, his fiancé, and Jacqueline Blair, Brianne’s mother.

Wayne Dang, of Pearl, holds the Associate of Applied Science degree in Computer Network Technology presented to him during graduation ceremonies May 12 at the Muse Center at Hinds Community College Rankin Campus. With him is Brianne Blair, left, his fiancé, and Jacqueline Blair, Brianne’s mother. (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

 

 

 

0 865 15 May, 2017 News more
Grandmother of four among academic, technical grads at Hinds CC
Posted by
15 May

Grandmother of four among academic, technical grads at Hinds CC

PEARL – Vicki Colbert had already lived a full life taking care of people when she decided to pursue a second career.

“I’m still the same lady from that little old town of Raymond,” Colbert said. “But, this is surely like a second life for me.”

Vicki Colbert

Vicki Colbert

The 57-year-old grandmother of four was among more than 1,200 graduates from ceremonies held by Hinds Community College over two days. She graduated Friday, May 12 with others who completed academic and technical programs at the college.

Students received 1,534 degrees and certificates, meaning some graduates received more than one credential. Of that number, almost 800 chose to participate in one of the three ceremonies on Friday at the Muse Center on the Rankin Campus in Pearl or a Sunday ceremony at the Utica Campus.

Among them was Colbert, who retired not long ago after 33 years in the medical field, mainly at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. A love of old-fashioned country cooking and staying busy, she enrolled in the Culinary Arts program and excelled.

“I’m happy about finishing school after nearly 40 years,” Colbert said. “It was about letting myself know that it’s never too late to complete something.”

Vicki Colbert, left, shares a laugh with Hinds President Dr. Clyde Muse after an awards ceremony April 28, 2017 honoring outstanding students and faculty from programs offered at the Jackson Campus-Academic/Technical Center. (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

Vicki Colbert, left, shares a laugh with Hinds President Dr. Clyde Muse after an awards ceremony April 28, 2017 honoring outstanding students and faculty from programs offered at the Jackson Campus-Academic/Technical Center. (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

In April, she led a team of culinary students from several schools whose fried fish and hush puppies won second place in competition at the Collegiate DECA International Career Development Conference in Anaheim, Calif. She and team members picked up third place honors at the state competition.

“She spearheads so many projects here,” said Austin Lee, district director of the Culinary Arts program at the Jackson Campus-Academic/Technical Center. “She headed up the DECA fundraising to make it to California, where her team raised over $1,000 to help with their expenses by selling chicken on a stick and Kool-Aid for $6.”

Next on her heady list of plans is to open an eatery in Raymond that’ll feature all the staples of down-home country fare.

“I love country cooking, with roast beef and gravy with veggies,” she said. “And I’ll do farm-to-table with it. It’ll be good for people coming from church on Sundays.”

Speaking at the 11 a.m. ceremony was state Sen. Briggs Hopson III, of Vicksburg.

“You’re receiving a piece of paper that is your license to a successful career,” Hopson told graduates. “It will make you competitive in the marketplace. You’re ready to go out right now and begin your careers.

Hinds President Dr. Clyde Muse with state Sen. Briggs Hopson III (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

Hinds President Dr. Clyde Muse with state Sen. Briggs Hopson III (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

“I have many friends who’ve gotten their associate’s degree and gone on to do incredibly well in their professions. They make good livings, are able to care for their families, built careers and established a nest egg.”

Of all graduates, 97 achieved summa cum laude, a 4.0 grade point average; 165 achieved magna cum laude, 3.6 to 3.99 GPA and 255 achieved cum laude, 3.2 to 3.59.

“This is a time we as educators enjoy celebrating,” said Hinds President Dr. Clyde Muse. He noted that student diplomas this year will include a gold seal commemorating the college’s 100th anniversary. Hinds opened in 1917 and is celebrating the Centennial with a host of activities throughout the calendar year.

[tweetable alt=””]Grandmother of four among academic, technical grads at Hinds CC[/tweetable]

 

Vicki Colbert, left, and Chef Sally Porter of the Culinary Arts program at Hinds show awards Colbert won this past semester. (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

Vicki Colbert, left, and Chef Sally Porter of the Culinary Arts program at Hinds show awards Colbert won this past semester during a program April 28, 2017 at the Jackson Campus-Academic/Technical Center. (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

 

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