WIOA Internship program a plus for PRCC students

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Curtis Richards of Petal and Lyric Stewart of Canton are just two of several Pearl River Community College students doing internships this semester thanks to the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. 

They are interning at Berry Global, a plastic fabrication company located in the Hattiesburg – Forrest County Industrial Park. 

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 Dr. Collum. 

Richards, 31, and Stewart, 20, are sophomore students in the Electronics Technology department. Both are appreciative of their internship opportunity. 

“After graduating, I plan to get a job in my field,” said Richards. “I am excited about furthering my education all the knowledge I am gaining while working in my field.” 

The same is true for Stewart, who attended Canton Academy and plans to first join the military when she graduates before entering the workforce.  

“PRCC has been an exciting community to be a part of because of the diverse skillset that I gained while attending,” she said. 

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. 

Added Dr. Collum, “In addition to the hands-on experience and hard skills students learn at an internship, they also learn critical soft skills and the culture of work.”

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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.