The Greenville Higher Education Center could soon start building a new career-techinical training facility thanks to approved funds from the Washington County Board of Supervisors and possible funds from state legislature.
At Monday’s regularly scheduled Washington County Board of Supervisors meeting, Curtis Buchanan, Chairman of the Greenville Higher Education Center (GHEC), along with Will Coppage, executive director of the Washington County Economic Alliance (WCEA), appeared before the board to discuss and request financial support for a proposed career-technical training facility at the GHEC.
Contingent on a $2,050,000 request from the legislature, Coppage and Buchanan asked the board to contribute $100,000 over a period of four years to the funding of the project, or $25,000 per year for the next four years.
The board unanimously approved the request.
Under the umbrella of Mississippi Delta Community College (MDCC), the training facility would provide significant training and employment opportunities for Washington County.
“Working with area employers, we’ve learned a couple things and one is the future of work-force training, and we’re molding GHEC into a work-force training facility,” Coppage said. “Industrial maintenance and welding has been the biggest need of the community and so we’re bringing those first.”
The industrial maintenance and welding facility’s estimated size is 10,000 sq ft., at a cost of $150 per sq ft.
Building construction cost is estimated at $1,500,000 and equipment at $750,000, totaling $2,250,000.
According to MDCC, the proposed program plan would include offering industrial maintenance and welding programs during the fall and spring semesters each year.
In the evenings and during summers, certifications may be offered such as forklift training, pipe-fitting, American Welding Society (AWS), OSHA and others deemed necessary by the community.
Any available space may be used to offer HVAC, precision manufacturing, electrical, carpentry or plumbing programs.
Buchanan shared through MDCC, they’ll soon be offering courses in which those interested can earn a two-year degree in industrial technology and that Associate of Arts degree could transfer to a four-year program.
Coppage stressed the construction of the training facility does not mean GHEC would lose those normally offered and scheduled classes.
According to Buchanan, with the additional 45 acres MDCC has on the GHEC site, it was the ideal location for the facility.