The Washington County Economic Alliance is making its own Angelica Richards their new Work Force and Special Programs coordinator, effective Nov. 1.
Washington County Economic Alliance executive director Will Coppage made the announcement at Tuesday’s Greenville City Council meeting, saying, “Because she is a native of Greenville, she brings not only vast knowledge of the community with her, but she is also someone the community trusts.”
Richards, who joined WCEA in January as the AmeriCorps Workforce training coordinator, is a 2018 graduate of Alcorn State University with a bachelor’s degree in social work. Richards said she has always been about the business of helping others in her community to reach their full potential.
“During my college years, I always said that I wanted to move back home to Greenville once I got my bachelor’s degree.”
While at Greenville-Weston High School, she served on the Mayor’s Youth Council, was a Mississippi Scholar and a former intern of the Go Greenville Internship Program.
Richards also interned at Greater Greenville Housing and Revitalization Association for two years under the leadership of Daniel Boggs.
In the first year of interning at Greater Greenville Housing and Revitalization, Richards learned about nonprofit and management, interacted with different residents of Greenville and learned about the financial side of the organization.
Close to graduating from college at the time, Richards said she had an appetite for hard work and wanted to immediately starting making a positive impact on her community.
“I applied of course and got the job,” she said.
Coppage said this past year, Richards was limited in scope as far as what she could do because she was working under AmeriCorps.
With his desire to super charge the work force in partnership with Mississippi Delta Community College, Coppage said finding a role for Richards to fulfill was a no-brainer.
From there, Richards went for the Opportunity Scholarship, which is in partnership with the Capps Center, and they were able to pay for about 40 people completing a class this month. By November, about half of those will have found employment and according to Coppage, that achievement was single-handedly accomplished because of Richards.
“Now that she’ll be full time, her scope can expand,” Coppage said. “She is the person to talk to, especially for an employer that’s having hiring issues and prospective job seekers who want to discuss upgrading their skills.”
Not only is Richards adamant about work force training in Washington County, but she said she is enthusiastic and confident in the success that it yields.
“You have many people here saying ‘Oh, it’s not jobs here’ but actually, there are jobs. It’s just that you have to know about them, so I try to be so resourceful,” Richards said.
Her hands-on and tireless approach to seeking out the needs of employers and prospective job seekers is seemingly what sets her apart and makes her an asset to the WCEA and the community.
Richards emphasized how much she cared about doing what she could to improve her hometown of Greenville and it has driven her to make such a valiant effort in her role.
“A lot of people throw out work force training, but I want to bring work force training back alive,” she explained, “It’s no sense in moving away when you can help be the solution to the problem.”