Officials from the town of Marion and East Mississippi Community College were all smiles on this day for the signing of an inter-local agreement. It involves a satellite branch that EMCC is preparing to open in Marion.
"Lauderdale County is one of the original counties that supported East Mississippi Community College going back to its beginnings," says EMCC President, Dr. Rick Young. "So, this is something that we've been wanting to do."
This year Lauderdale County gave the college $211,000. With the opening of the branch in Marion, District Two Supervisor Wayman Newell says in the future that amount will likely increase.
"You can look at each of the campuses, and how they grow, and they also need more funding to make them grow, and we certainly will look at it," says Newell.
The new EMCC branch will be located behind town hall in Marion. The initial plan is to move three or four mobile units behind the fire station, and possibly start offering workforce training classes this summer.
"Our intentions are to do something of a permanent nature," says Dr. Young. "So, we'll start out, and we'll grow it, but we're building certainly for workforce training, and for academic and transfer offerings, which are all a part of this."
"It should have a long lasting affect," says Marion Mayor Elvis Hudson. "I mean a college coming to the town of Marion, and making it very accessible for people to attend these classes, that workforce training, and moving forward in life. Marion is going to provide that opportunity for folks to move forward."
EMCC plans to start offering basic academic classes at the Marion campus this fall.