Community College representatives thank Legislators

Written By: Teresa McCreery
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Date Submitted: 2018-01-29 15:17:23

ELLISVILLE – Mississippi’s Community/Junior College representatives and students gave a warm welcome to the members of the state’s legislative branch at the annual Mississippi Community College Legislative Appreciation Luncheon.  Community college presidents were especially happy because Governor Phil Bryant’s bill, HB 405 which would provide career and technical students training at the state’s 15-Community/Junior Colleges at little cost to the student, passed through the House. If the bill becomes a reality, Jones County Junior College president, Dr. Jesse Smith said it will have an enormous impact on the state.

“The new, ‘Mississippi Career-Tech Scholars’ program is an investment that will help students who would not be able to afford the training, get a job in an industry that is currently in need of skilled workers.” Dr. Smith added, “The state’s community colleges are already equipped and training students to meet industry’s needs. Making the training affordable will only improve the opportunity for more people to be self-sustaining, which helps to grow our state and local economies.”

If HB 405 becomes policy, students would have to take classes full time or 15 credit hours. Those already working would have to take nine-credit hours each semester and students would have to maintain a 2.0 GPA to continue to take classes for free or at a reduced rate.

Legislators along with Lt. Governor Tate Reeves and Secretary of State Delbert Hoseman also took time to talk with students and college representatives at the appreciation luncheon.  Students from each of the 15 community/junior colleges shared their musical and culinary talents with the group while several students enjoyed the role of hosts and hostesses at the legislative appreciation luncheon. JCJC freshman from Petal, McKay Eaton said she enjoyed the networking opportunity.

“Something that stood out to me the most was how absolutely inviting and friendly all of our elected officials were. I was a greeter at the luncheon and I felt so at ease talking, learning, and interacting with these knowledgeable men and women. My school and I were even invited back to the Capital to sit in on House Bill 405. It truly was a memorable and exciting day.”
While at the Senate hearings, Eaton said she had the opportunity to meet with members of the Senate and House of Representatives, and their staffs. 
“I personally love the inner workings of the government on the state and local level so it truly was an amazing experience for me to be able to meet and talk to all of our Elected Officials,” said Eaton.
A record crowd of legislators and some of the state’s top leaders participated in the annual Community College Legislative Luncheon, hosted by college representatives and students held in Jackson.  


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