EMCC's Scooba campus offering new workforce programs

Electrical Technology student Christian Moore wires an outlet box during class. The program is being offered for the first time at East Mississippi Community College’s Scooba campus.

SCOOBA — East Mississippi Community College’s Workforce and Community Services Division has expanded its offerings on the college’s Scooba campus with programs of study in Electrical Technology and Heavy Civil Construction.

The first day of class for both programs was Sept. 13. Students who complete the two-semester Electrical Technology program will be awarded a vocational certificate and will learn to install, maintain and troubleshoot electrical systems. Coursework includes residential, commercial and industrial wiring, blueprint reading, electrical power systems and programmable logic controllers, among other things.

“When they finish the program, they can go to work for a contractor wiring residential houses, perform light commercial electrical services or work with one of the area electrical companies,” Electrical Technology instructor Seth Irons said.

In addition to classwork, the students also get hands-on lab experience, running electrical wire, testing circuits and wiring equipment, such as motor controls.

Nanih Waiya resident Tatum Luke is among the 14 students enrolled in the class.

“I just thought it would be a good program to get into,” Luke said.

Cody Warren of Louisville said he wants a job where he doesn’t have to sit behind a desk and the Electrical Technology program seemed like a good fit.

“One thing I like is that it won’t take much time to finish the program,” said Christian Moore, who, along with his classmates, is scheduled to graduate in May of 2022.

“Once they graduate, we will enroll a brand-new class,” Irons said.

Students who complete the Electrical Technology certificate program at Scooba have the option of continuing their studies at The Communiversity at EMCC to earn an Associate of Applied Science degree.

“We are really excited about being able to offer Electrical Technology at our Scooba campus,” EMCC Vice President of Workforce and Economic Development Dr. Courtney Taylor said. “This will help students find an entryway into the general electrical occupations since there are a lot of those jobs available, especially in our rural areas.”

Also new to the Scooba campus this term is the Heavy Civil Construction program.

Among other things, students learn to safely operate heavy equipment used on road and bridge projects and at construction sites. They are also taught how to read site drawings and the use of math commonly used in construction.

Students who complete the 10-week program earn NCCER certification in heavy equipment operation, complete a 10-hour OSHA safety training course and are certified in forklift operation.

“It is a class you can finish fairly quickly in a field where you can make good money,” said DeKalb resident Jeremy Buie, who is enrolled in the course. “That was probably what most interested me.”

The program was first taught at The Communiversity in January. The same bulldozer, excavator and tractor used for course instruction at The Communiversity were transported to the Scooba campus for the program there, as were two training simulators equipped with the same controls as the bulldozer and excavator.

A new motor grader simulator will also be used for training at the Scooba campus and APAC-Mississippi recently donated an asphalt paving roller to the program that was refurbished by Caterpillar.

For now, the program is being taught out of Oktibbeha Hall while a site is being prepared west of the main Scooba campus, across Mississippi 16 from the rodeo team’s practice area.

Heavy Civil Construction instructor Carlton Hollis said there is a lot of demand in the area for heavy equipment operators in the logging and timber industries.

“They use motor graders, dozers and track hoes in forestry,” Hollis said. “They have to construct and maintain roads for the log trucks to come in and out on and the sites where they stack the logs have to be cleared and maintained as well.”

Scooba resident Shundarius Knox enrolled in the class because he would like to work with a company that clears land.

“I saw it as a good opportunity to learn a trade,” Knox said.

The current class will finish Nov. 18, with the next class to be offered at The Communiversity in January. Email Terry Logan at tlogan@eastms.edu for information about either the Electrical Technology program or the Heavy Civil Construction program.

 

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