JCJC breaks ground in Clarke County
Written By: Teresa McCreery
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Date Submitted: 2013-10-16 10:40:41
ELLISVILLE – Clarke County officials are calling the announcement and ground breaking of Jones County Junior College’s newest Center, “the Greatest Day in the County.” Clarke County Board of Supervisor President, Mickey Long praised the “unbelievable support” and the efforts of the Board, JCJC, the East Mississippi Electric Power Association, the Mississippi Development Authority, State Representatives and federal officials with the USDA for making the Center in Stonewall become a reality.
“We wanted to retain our people in the county. That’s the bottom line,” said Long. “I am so pleased to know our students will be able to take college courses here in Clarke County, where it will be more affordable and hopefully some, who wouldn’t have the opportunity to take classes, will now have that option because of the convenient location. We’re going to turn this county around.”
JCJC will also be offering a unique, one-year, advanced petroleum program featuring hands-on training with an oil-derrick tower located at the Center between Enterprise and Quitman. The 15,800 sq. ft. facility, with two buildings, will have five classrooms, several staff offices along with a welding lab and a classroom for a welding program and another classroom for the petroleum technology program. Training will be offered in the maintenance and operations of generators, pumps, valves, and drilling functions for the oil industry.
“This is something to be proud of and it’s a huge complement to our state to have the JCJC Center with a petroleum program,” said Paul Mosley, the President of the Mississippi Association of Supervisors and a Clarke County Supervisor. “This will be the only place in the state to get this type of oil field training.”
JCJC President Dr. Jesse Smith explained to guests and Clarke County’s citizens, “Jones desires to be a part of the County’s vision. With this technical program as the anchor program at the new Center, there should be no excuse for people not to get a degree.” He reminded the crowd of Governor William Winter’s assessment and impact of education on the economy. “‘The road to economic recovery goes by the college.’ Expect the economy to grow,” said Dr. Smith.
To ensure JCJC and the Supervisors’ vision could come to fruition, funds were obtained from a couple of sources. The combined efforts of the East Mississippi Electric Power Association, the Mississippi USDA Rural Development, the Mississippi Development Authority and the County Supervisors, secured a 10-year, zero percent, USDA loan for $1,360,000.
“The programs and educational opportunities that will be offered through this new workforce development center facilitated by JCJC will provide significant benefits for EMEPA members in Clarke County,” said Randy Carroll, COO of EMEPA.
At the conclusion of the ceremony, representatives from the college, county and East Mississippi Power Association grabbed the ceremonial shovels marking the place where construction will begin at 1200 South Erwin Road. Albritton Construction Company began preparing the property donated by Roger Lack, Don Saxon, WarmKraft and Pine Belt Processing September 30, with plans to finish construction within 18 months.
Retired Stonewall Deputy Clerk, Oree Davis summed up the sentiments of the day as she looked at pictures of the new Center, “I’ve lived here all my life and I’ve waited for Stonewall to bust open and now it will with this new Center.”