Hinds workforce program receives Department of Labor grant

Published 4:41 pm Monday, September 30, 2019

The Department of Labor Monday announced $4.1 million in grants to support three workforce development projects in rural Mississippi, one of which is at Hinds Community College.

The grants support infrastructure upgrades to strengthen workforce development and job readiness programs. Panola County and the Base Camp Coding Academy in Water Valley were the other two organizations receiving grants.

“These grants will allow workforce development projects in Mississippi to ramp up their efforts to expand opportunities for individuals and create a work-ready workforce,” U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) said. “Industry has a vested interest in our workforce, and these grant awards will equip rural communities with the tools necessary to train skilled, qualified workers.

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“I am thrilled that Congress is placing more emphasis on ensuring rural communities aren’t overlooked when it comes to job development and economic growth.”

Congress directed the Labor Department to issue grants to programs in the Appalachian and Delta regions.

Grant awards to Mississippi communities, which are within the Delta Regional Authority and Appalachian Regional Commission areas, include:

Hinds Community College — $1,327,226 to establish an advanced manufacturing, engineering and logistics center targeting unemployed and under-skilled individuals. Impact area: Claiborne, Copiah, Hinds, Rankin and Warren counties.

Panola County — $2,154,000 to renovate a factory outlet mall into a regional workforce-training center. Impact area: Calhoun, Lafayette, Panola, Quitman, Tallahatchie, Tate, and Yalobusha counties.

Base Camp Coding Academy — $635,000 to expand a computer coding pilot program for youth, and refurbish a historic factory into a Rural Education and Innovation Hub. Impact area: Calhoun, Lafayette, Lee, Panola, Pontotoc, Tallahatchie and Yalobusha counties.

This program seeks to address the unique workforce development needs in rural communities. The Labor Department’s Employment and Training Administration will administer the grants in collaboration with DRA and ARC.