January 5, 2023
Pearl River Community College’s new Wildcat Mobile Maintenance Training Unit is now fully operational.
PRCC officially unveiled the training unit Wednesday with a kick off and open house at the Lowery Woodall Advanced Technology Center in the Hattiesburg Industrial Park.
The unit is fully self-contained including a generator for running computers and related training equipment. Training will be done at the college’s different locations and directly on-site with local companies. After Wednesday’s launch, it will be used immediately for on-site training at Idaho Forest Group in Lumberton.
“This mobile training unit is a perfect example of our state’s workforce system working like it should to support growth in technical skilled jobs that pay sustainable wages,” said Rebecca Brown, Dean of Workforce, Economic Development and Adult Education.
Funds for the training unit came from a grant from AccelerateMS, utilizing Mississippi Workforce Enhancement Training (WET) resources. State leaders including Gov. Reeves and Ryan Miller, Executive Director of AccelerateMS (the MS office of workforce development), visited PRCC in July to announce the award.
Since that time, while PRCC awaited the delivery of the mobile training unit, the school was able to utilize the new related mechanical maintenance training equipment to deliver 11 maintenance training bootcamp sessions and skill-up 286 employees at local manufacturers. An additional 28 bootcamp sessions are already scheduled through June 2023 for more than 500 area manufacturing employees.
“We started receiving the equipment a few months ago and began running some of the non-credit maintenance courses right here at the Woodall Center,” said Brown. “Now that we have received the trailer, we are able to deliver those very same courses on-site wherever the needs are. Businesses and individuals will be able to access skills training that is delivered on-the-ground where it’s most needed. This is a game changer for us and them. We celebrate today and then tomorrow it rolls out of the parking lot to get to work.”
PRCC’s maintenance skills bootcamps support the growth and development of skilled technical jobs with wages ranging from $34,000-$70,000.
Several local companies are partnering to receive maintenance training. They include Berry Global, Green Bay Converting, Hood Industries, Johnson Controls, Kohler Engines, Resinall, Sofidel, SuperStud, Western Container, Wis-Pak and Zeon Chemicals.
The Wildcat Mobile Maintenance Training Unit will also be used in support of credit classes at all campuses and for special training to be made available at Port Bienville and Stennis Space Center in Hancock County.
For more information about the training unit, businesses can contact PRCC Workforce Education at (601) 554.4646 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more and schedule maintenance training.
Individuals looking for pathways into maintenance careers can learn more about PRCC’s Career Technical programs in Hattiesburg and Poplarville at prcc.edu. Unsure if a career in manufacturing is for you? Take the very first step and learn more with the three-week Pine Belt Works Manufacturing Skills program at prcc.edu/PineBeltWorks.
Article by Chuck Abadie.
Photography by Jacob Cochran.