Last week`s decision by the Mississippi Telecommunications Conference and Training Center Commission to move forward on a plan to renovate the King Edward Hotel and eventually place a telecommunications training center there has been deemed vital to a successful renovation of downtown Jackson. This development is good news for the city of Jackson, but what about for the rest of the state?
The renovation and training center will be funded, in part, by state money, and the question that begs to be answered is: Could state money for high-tech training be better spent by Mississippi`s community colleges and universities?
Our state universities offer a plethora of programs which integrate technology and business courses and internships to educate a new wave of information management professionals for work in Mississippi business and industry. The state network of community and junior colleges has taken an active role in vocational training for high-tech jobs, too.
Would the Jackson training center be a duplication of efforts? We think so.
State funds for education need to be spent on college and university campuses. It is the only way to insure that every Mississippian has equal access to high-tech training opportunities.
Revitalizing downtown Jackson is important, but it should not come at the expense of the rest of the state.