Pearl River Community College students Austin Nickey, Evan Robinson and Harrison Wilson are doing internships this semester, thanks to the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.
They are interning at Kohler Manufacturing Machining Company in Hattiesburg.
Nickey and Wilson are sophomore students in the Electronics Technology department. Robinson is a sophomore in the Machine Technology department.
Internship programs through PRCC provide work-based learning experiences that are as beneficial for students as their classroom time.
“These internships offer critical skills that contribute to the success of our graduates,” said Dr. James David Collum, Dean of Career and Technical Education at PRCC’s Forrest County Center. “No lab or classroom can fully emulate the experience of participating in an internship.”
The PRCC WIOA Internship program is funded thanks to a grant by the Southern Mississippi Planning and Development District (SMPDD). Interns are selected by instructors and paid through the grant.
“I am grateful for our industry partners for working with us and for the Twin Districts Workforce WIOA internship grant for making this life-changing opportunity available for Pearl River Community College students,” said Collum.
Kohler opened an engine manufacturing plant in Hattiesburg in 1997. There are now two plants – one for machining iron and aluminum components and one for warehousing and engine assembly – both located in the Hattiesburg – Forrest County Industrial Park.
Nickey, 24, is a Phi Theta Kappa student and a member of the National Technical Honors Society. He is a graduate of Choctaw Central High School, plans to enter the workforce and possibly attend a four-year college later on.
“What excites me about Pearl River is coming to a comfortable environment every day and learning new skills to build a stable future and career,” said Nickey. “This internship is a sign of an opportunity and recognition that the work I have done means something.”
Robinson, 23, attended Slidell (La.) High School and lives in Lumberton. His goal is to one day open his own shop.
“This internship provides me the opportunity to better myself and learn new skills that I can use in the workforce,” Robinson said.
Wilson, 19, a Petal High School graduate, serves as Vice President of Treasury for the National Technical Honors Society. He wants to gain some work experience before obtaining an engineering degree.
“I am excited about all the knowledge and opportunities that this internship has given me,” said Wilson.
Deloris Butler, PRCC WIN Case Manager, believes these internships are a plus all the way around for PRCC students.
“The internship program gives students the opportunity to practice their skills in a real-world environment, build their professional network, and connect with prospective employers,” she said.
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Pearl River Community College offers equal education and employment opportunities. The College does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, national origin, veteran status, or disability. For inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies or to request accommodations, special assistance, or alternate format publication please contact Tonia M. Seal, Director of Admissions and Records/ ADA/Civil Rights Coordinator at P.O. Box 5559, Poplarville, MS 39470 or 601-403-1060 or Maghan James, Assistant Vice President of Student Services/Title IX Coordinator at P.O. Box 5805, Poplarville, MS 39470 or 601-403-1132.