Mississippi Public Broadcasting’s American Graduate initiative hosted its first Workforce Wednesday Luncheon December 19th. Realizing workforce development is one of the key areas that will facilitate growth in our state, it seemed only natural the American Graduate project reach out to the community and other partners to join us in dialoguing about the current status of workforce in the surrounding area. The goal of these luncheons is to connect with new partners and potential subjects for content, have open dialogue and stay informed about Mississippi’s direction with workforce development, particularly in the sectors of logistics, information technology, healthcare, manufacturing and energy.
Our guest speaker for this event was Jayne Phillips, who works for CN Railroad (logistics). She spoke about the rapid change in the industry and the available jobs at CN Railroad in the areas of information technology and healthcare. Phillips honed in on the need to be flexible and the need for continual learning. Others in attendance included members from the Mississippi Community College Board, Veterans Affairs, military resource organizations, Mississippi Coding Academy, a student, as well as a jobseeker.
In addition to Phillips, we were fortunate to have MPB’s Executive Director Ronnie Agnew, who reiterated the importance of workforce development in our state. He stated, “The goal is to produce individuals who are capable of fitting into both the current job market in our community and the jobs of tomorrow.”
American Graduate Workforce Wednesday Luncheons will be held for one hour at 11:30 a.m. every third Wednesday of the month. The next luncheon is scheduled for January 16th. We will have a different guest speaker highlighting an industry within one of the five employment sectors. For more information or to register for the next Workforce Wednesday Luncheon, visit our website at gettingtowork.mpbonline.org
American Graduate is public media’s long-term commitment to help communities prepare all students for success in school, careers and life. Since 2011, public media has played an important role in local communities and the national graduation rate is now at an unprecedented 84.1 percent. The high school diploma is a key launching point into a student’s future success, but it is not the final destination. Together with stations and their partners, CPB launched the next phase of the initiative, American Graduate: Getting to Work. Public media is partnering with schools and businesses and helping prepare students with the skill sets and training needed to be part of the new workforce, especially for high-demand fields.