ELLISVILLE — Jones County Junior College (JCJC) now houses one of only three Advanced Manufacturing Centers for Excellence in the state. New equipment has been delivered to the college, and nationally certified instructors at JCJC will use it to deliver advanced skills training in metalworking.
This upgrade is all part of a new regional initiative called “Make Things Happen,” which provides advanced training in machining, welding and pipefitting. A marketing campaign was launched in the southern part of the state to stimulate interest in these core areas. Television and radio commercials, newspaper ads, brochures, tradeshow displays and a web site aim to inform South Mississippi residents about the career opportunities available in metalworking at their local community colleges.
JCJC academic dean Dr. Shannon Campbell, who serves as the director of this initiative for the college, said, “There are tremendous career opportunities for Mississippians in metalworking. Our friends in industry need these advanced skill-sets in their companies right now. We are working hard to get the word out about this initiative.”
The funding for the program upgrades comes from a Department of Labor grant called WIRED Momentum. The grant is overseen by a steering committee in cooperation with the Momentum Mississippi initiative. Pearl River Community College and Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College are partnering with JCJC in this effort.
The grant provided the participating colleges with equipment upgrades to meet the new requirements for the Advanced Manufacturing Centers for Excellence. Two new computer numeric control (CNC) machines were recently delivered to JCJC’s Industrial Services Building. This upgrade will give students advance training on industry standard equipment. Enrolled students will utilize this new machinery to gain National Institute for Metalworking Skills certification.