Workers in the Meridian area will soon have access to state-of-the-art workforce training, thanks in part to a $500,000 Grant awarded to Meridian Community College. Funds from this grant will be used, in part, to equip MCC’s new workforce training facility, which will be housed in the former Wal-Mart building on Highway 19 North.

On Tuesday, Meridian Community College will hold a Workforce Windows of Opportunity Open House to showcase the equipment purchased and the myriad of training programs currently in place as well as plans for the new training facility inside the former Wal-Mart building. The Open House will be held on MCC’s campus in WEBB Hall, which is located at the corner of College Drive and 14th Street. The public is invited and refreshments will be served.

“Employers will be able to enhance the skills of current employees and hire from a pool of higher-skilled applicants,” said Dan Talley, Director of Workforce Training for Meridian Community College. “Our goal is to build a world-class workforce by partnering with high schools, industry, community colleges, and four-year schools.”

To date, much of the funds have been used to purchase high tech equipment and software simulator systems in order to provide training in areas such as Robotics, Programmable Logic Controllers, Pneumatics, Hydraulics, Mechanical Measurement and Sensor Technology. Additionally, training sessions are currently offered in areas such as LEAN Manufacturing, Leadership Training, Entrepreneurship, Six Sigma, APICS, OSHA, etc. Higher-level skills training can help the area workforce become more proficient and prepared for higher-paying jobs in advanced manufacturing industries.

In addition to the training equipment, area industries can also take advantage of other high-tech gadgets purchased through the grant. An audience polling system from Option Technologies uses hand-held wireless devices to record individual responses to questions or surveys. Whether used as polling stations for employees throughout the day or in an auditorium for large group surveys, organizations can have results within minutes rather than spending several hours or days compiling paper surveys.

Perhaps the most technical of the new pieces of equipment is a three-dimensional printer, or rapid prototyping machine. Objects drawn using a three-dimensional, computer-assisted drafting program can be modeled into an ABS plastic prototype part overnight. This means a designer or inventor can create a product on the computer and hold that product in their hands the next day.

For more information on any of these products or services, attend the Workforce Windows of Opportunity Open House on Tuesday or contact Dan Talley at (601) 482-7445.

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