Thousands of graduates across the state are now looking for that sometimes elusive first job. But the graduates of Meridian Community College have a vital resource on their side.
The Career Development Center provides resources to help them find that first paycheck.
"We keep a listing of area jobs for the students to come by and look at," said Deborah Nettles. "We also keep resumes on file according to the major and according to if they want full or part-time. So they get an opportunity to network that way."
Nationally, employers are expected to hire about 12.7 percent more new college graduates over last year. Here in Meridian, Nettles says the employment opportunities look good as well.
"We saw a statistic from MACE, which is the association of colleges and employers. They show that a lot of jobs are going up in the medical field in our area. We see a lot in customer service such as cashiers, etc. There is also a new demand for heavy equipment operations and we do have our home construction and industrial trade programs here,"
Nettles said most of this year's graduates are expected to stay close to home.
"We see more people staying. Some of the medical people leave because there are opportunities in other cities, but most stay and look at the job market here at least at first," she said.
The career center is not just for students. Alumni and community members may stop by to look for or research a job as well.
"Without the resource center, I wouldn't be able to successfully go to my job interviews. They do the mock interviews here. They help with resumes," said Margarette McMillan, a graduating student. "It wouldn't be as perfect as it is now and it helps build confidence in finding a job."