Meridian, Miss. As graduates enter the job market, what jobs are most in demand in Meridian?
Offering 52 workforce programs, one of the most successful ones at Meridian Community College is the Paramedic Emergency Services Science Academy. It started last fall, and officials say most -- if not all -- students in it have received job offers since completing the one year course.
With two hospitals and many medical clinics, Meridian is a hub for health-care. However, officials with Meridian Community College's Workforce Education Program say there's also growing demand for workers in other professions here at home.
"Not only nursing and health education because they get a lot of print about that, but there are good jobs in industrial technology such as: telecommunications, electronics, business and we have a truck driving program here at Meridian Community College."
Dr. McAlister says students who complete the trucking program are poised to earn salaries ranging anywhere from $20-thousand to more than $100-thousand a year.
With 52 programs already, MCC will add to that list this fall with a Culinary Arts course that will help cater to new developments within the local hospitality industry.
"Just look around here in Meridian, out on I-20 where we have the new and evolving hospitality areas. All of the new motels and hotels that are springing up, I mean, we are uniquely situated here in Meridian at the crossroads of I-20 and I-59. So, the demand is great."
Overall, Dr. McAlister says the demand for workforce training programs is also growing drastically, with many four year college graduates now enrolling in training courses at the community college. For example, he says out of 116 applicants, 11 of the people seeking 14 spots in MCC's physical therapy program have bachelor's degrees.
"Last year there were 15 people with bachelor's degrees vying to get in the physical therapy program here. All of these nursing and health education programs and industrial business programs, we place students in jobs!"says McAlister.
Next fall Meridian Community College is adding a Medical Assisting Program to the list of programs that it offers through its Workforce Training Center.