At the annual Governor’s Workforce Conference in Jackson, Gov. Haley Barbour was awarded the first George F. Walker Workforce Training Award. Barbour was honored for his support of workforce training by reorganizing the state workforce system, establishing a stable funding source for job training initiatives and coordinating public and private sector efforts for workforce development.
The George F. Walker Workforce Training Award is named after longtime Mississippi Community College Board chairman George F. Walker of Clarksdale. Walker was appointed to the MCCB by four different governors from 1991 until his death 2010. He served as chairman of the board for 14 years. Walker located to Clarksdale from Massachusetts after founding Delta Wire in 1978. He was a pioneer in workforce training across the state and understood the importance of workforce training to both employees and employers. He was also instrumental in the creation of the Workforce Enhancement Training Fund, which provides a stable funding source to community college for workforce projects.