Students are choosing shorter, more skill based career routes

LOWNDES COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI) – Some students from across the state are choosing to further their knowledge at Community Colleges.

February is Career and Technical Education month and is set aside to highlight the opportunities that are available across the country.

Here in Lowndes County, almost 50 technical skills programs are taught at EMCC’S Communiversity.

With all the different pathways to take, many students choose a shorter and more skill-based route.

Instructors at the Communiversity said the technical career program allows students to get the hands-on training they need to enter the workforce.

After almost 15 years as a welder, Thomas Griffin decided it was time for a fresh start.

“Where I work they had a machinist job opening which I never had any experience doing so we kind of talked about doing this program and doing the associates degree and I’ll graduate in May,” said Griffin.

With only three months until graduation, Griffin said that moving to the machining program was a big decision but he knew it would benefit him in the long run.

“Just for me personally just trying to learn something new. Trying to extend my experience in the workforce and maybe open up more possibilities for where my career is going,” said Griffin.

Precision Machining Instructor, Ronnie Guy said that machinists are ordinary people that make everyday items we need and some just for fun.

Guy said the skills learned in the precision machining program can lead to a variety of career opportunities.

“We have plenty of students that go out and graduate then they machine for a while and that may branch off to selling machines, be an installation person for when someone buys a brand new machine, and of course inspector so there is a lot of different avenues you can go,” said Guy.

Not only are career and technical programs more budget-friendly, but Guy said that his students have a high rate of job placement even before they graduate.

“We have probably in the 90% placement for the local and if they’re willing to travel it could be as high as 100% placement,” said Griffin.

Many career and technical programs are two years and they allow students to train so they are ready for the workforce.

To learn about the different career programs visit EMCC

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