Ribbon cutting at MGCCC West Harrison County Center

Today the Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the West Harrison County Center, the home for the MGCCC Industry Training Programs funded by the BP Restore Act.

A near $4 million BP Restore Act grant presented to MGCCC means opportunities for some Coast residents. Christie Mims completed the massage therapy program. She said, “It was great knowing that I could get through a program and get out of school and start on my career without having student loan debt.”

During the ribbon ceremony, the community celebrated the BP Restore Act funded programs, allowing Coast residents like Mims to get certified in fields like massage therapy and commercial truck driving. Executive Vice President of Teacher and Learning Jonathan Woodward said, “We are now trying to rebuild those industries and supply our work chain so that as those industries rise back up and tourism comes back, we have a workforce ready for the businesses that want to come in and expand.”

Coming this fall, cosmetology will be the newest program offered at the West Harrison County Center. “This is open for all the citizens of the Gulf Coast and if they apply right now, these programs are at no cost for the students so get in while you can,” said Woodward.

Before starting the programs, students must participate in the four week long, Gulf Coast work ready initiative which teaches soft skills including customer service, interview skills, and more. “We have a waiting list for several of these programs and the reason is because we are getting them through. We are getting them certificates and they’re getting jobs. That word is getting out. It’s all about jobs for Coast citizens.”

Woodward says MGCCC is expected to introduce three more programs to the West Harrison County Center by January 2019.

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