http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=PT+Sans Hinds CC a key player in Warren County’s drive to become certified Work-Ready

Posts by tag: economic development

Hinds CC a key player in Warren County’s drive to become certified Work-Ready
Posted by
14 December

Hinds CC a key player in Warren County’s drive to become certified Work-Ready

VICKSBURG – Economic development in Vicksburg and Warren County in 2018 and beyond could hinge on an effort to become certified a Work-Ready Community by the nation’s premier academic testing standard.

Earlier this year, employers in the Hinds Community College attendance district agreed in principle to begin recognizing the National Career Readiness Certificate and have their respective counties certified as an ACT Work Ready Community. The national credential is a portable, industry-recognized standard of achievement that identifies proficiency in three key areas for landing jobs of today – reading for information, applied math and locating information. The national initiative is headed up by ACT, the nation’s leading college admissions testing company. Hinds administers the NCRC exam to Adult Basic Education and Career-Technical Education students as well as to current employees from industry partners.

Dr. Robin Parker, assistant dean for Career and Technical Education, speaks before the Vicksburg Warren County Chamber of Commerce about the ACT Work-Ready Community effort during a luncheon Dec. 13, 2017. (Hinds Community College/Tammi Bowles)

On Wednesday, members of the Vicksburg Warren County Chamber of Commerce heard of the potential pluses of adopting tangible assessments for hiring employees from college officials and industries using it or thinking seriously about using it.

“You know when you enter a new city or county and see the signs that say ‘certified retirement community?’,” said Dr. Robin Parker, assistant dean for Career and Technical Education at Hinds, asked chamber members during a program and panel discussion during the group’s monthly luncheon. “Well, we want a sign in Warren County that when someone drives in, they say, ‘This community values work and has a group of people that’s ready to do what’s best for the community.’”

Issued at four levels – bronze, silver, gold, and platinum – the NCRC helps take the guesswork out of hiring, training, and promotion decisions. WIN Job Centers in Hinds, Warren, Rankin and Claiborne counties, as well as in Madison County, administer it to clients in each community who are applying for jobs.

“This can be very beneficial toward your recruiting purposes and retention goals,” said Pablo Diaz, executive director of the Warren County Port Commission, to chamber members. The commission is among several partners on the effort in central Mississippi.

Pablo Diaz, left, executive director of the Warren County Port Commission, speaks before the Vicksburg Warren County Chamber of Commerce during a luncheon Dec. 13, 2017. Seated for the discussion, which dealt with ACT Work-Ready Community efforts, are, from left, Carl Hearn, quality manager at Batesville Casket, Maggie Cane, human resource manager at International Paper, and Dr. Robin Parker. (Hinds Community College/Tammi Bowles)

“But, I want you to think about this, too – this will be a standard that any community’s going to be held up to in terms of economic development projects,” Diaz said. “We are going to be asked, ‘Are you a certified community?’ And if you say no, then for a potential project it means we don’t have the data on the workforce to demonstrate how good or not good they are.”

Panelists for the luncheon included human resources professionals with companies using or thinking about using the NCRC in their hiring process. They, along with Parker, fielded questions about the test from chamber members, many of whom run their own small businesses or hold positions involved in making hiring decisions.

0 215 14 December, 2017 News more
Retiring Hinds CC Vice President Woods: ‘It has been a great ride’
Posted by
15 June

Retiring Hinds CC Vice President Woods: ‘It has been a great ride’

After a long career in fostering economic development in Mississippi, especially through his work at Hinds Community College, [tweetable alt=””]Vice President Dr. John Woods of Clinton is retiring on June 30.[/tweetable]

“It has been a wonderful opportunity to be a member of this college’s family,” said Woods, vice president for Economic Development and Training.

Dr. John Woods is speaking at a April 19 Mississippi River Transportation, Distribution and Logistic Consortium meeting held at Eagle Ridge Conference Center.

Dr. John Woods is speaking at a April 19 Mississippi River Transportation, Distribution and Logistic Consortium meeting held at Eagle Ridge Conference Center.

Dr. Chad Stocks, vice president for Workforce Development, will assume Woods’ duties. Stocks also leads all workforce training, career-technical education and adult education efforts.

“In the early years of our workforce division, Dr. Woods brought a level of workforce knowledge and expertise to the college that helped to established Hinds as an institution that understood the needs of business and industry. His contribution to the successful opening of the Nissan plant in Canton, and more recently the Mississippi River Consortium in Vicksburg, are among the largest projects that he directed,” said Hinds President Dr. Clyde Muse.

Woods arrived at Hinds in 1991 but even before that he worked with the college’s workforce efforts when he was employed at Mississippi State University. He retires with 34 years of total service to the State of Mississippi and is the longest serving workforce specialist currently in the state.

“We will definitely miss his leadership. It has been a great experience to work for him and with him while at Hinds,” said Jim Harper, director of the Small Business Development Center.

Woods is also the longest serving vice president of Economic Development and Training at the college and overseer of Eagle Ridge Conference Center, still a cornerstone meeting facility in the state.

“Dr. Woods has been a great asset to our division at Hinds,” said Peggy Lofton, director of Eagle Ridge Conference Center. “He has always been very supportive of what we do to make our business run smoothly. He has truly taught me to be a better leader, and for that I am thankful.”

Under Woods’ leadership, the Eagle Ridge Conference Center has been a centerpiece for some of the college’s most important efforts and most prestigious events. The facility has drawn national organizations and state leaders to its doors because of its unique setting and capable staff.

The Professional Development Institute (PDI) is another important aspect of Woods’ division. That program is the in-house foundation for training Hinds employees and provides a wide array of personal and work-related programs. In addition, his division oversees the awarding of continuing education certificates (CEUs) for local school districts and other professional organizations.

Among his colleagues, Woods is recognized as a prolific writer and avid outdoorsman. Visitors to his Eagle Ridge office have been able to see an eclectic assortment of memorabilia that reflects his diverse interests and talents.

Among his recent accomplishments are the refurbishment of the Eagle Ridge Challenge Course and the institution of the River Barge Deckhand Training project in Vicksburg.web_John Woods

“Along the way there were many successes, some failures, a few revelations and disappointments. It has been a great ride,” Woods said.

As Mississippi’s largest community college, Hinds Community College is a comprehensive institution offering quality, affordable educational opportunities with more than 170 academic, career and technical programs. With six locations in central Mississippi, Hinds enrolled nearly 12,000 credit students in fall 2015. To learn more, visit www.hindscc.edu or call 1.800.HindsCC.

0 1061 15 June, 2016 News more