Job training fair in Bay St. Louis this Saturday
By Cassandra Favre
Jan 23, 2014, 10:24
This Saturday, Mississippi Power Company will host a Workforce Career Development job training fair in Bay St. Louis.
Representatives from Mississippi Power and Strategic Systems met with local religious and community leaders on Wednesday and informed them about what resources will be available at the fair.
"The main objective of the fair," Frank Magee, community development director for Mississippi Power, said, "is to let the people know about the training programs available through the local construction unions.
"The fair is just an informational session that lets the people know about the opportunities available to them in skilled trade labor fields."
Magee said that interested parties who sign up for training will be asked to return the next week and do drug screening and OSHA safety training.
"Participants must have a high school diploma or GED," Magee said, "that is a requirement. The program is also a great opportunity for those with a criminal background looking for a second chance.
"Once their certifications come in the mail, they will have the opportunity to begin the training program with the local unions."
Once the free training is complete, the applicants are matched up with local contractors who may have opportunities available, where they will actually begin their apprenticeship and making wages and benefits, Magee said.
"By allowing the individuals to go through the drug screening and OSHA training," Magee said, "they are showing companies that they are job-ready.
"Every community we hear about is either under-employed or unemployed," Magee said. "There is an eight percent unemployment rate in Hancock County.
"We hear all the time that companies need skilled laborers for jobs, we are trying to bridge that gap."
"We know there's a need for jobs, we see the gaps," District Manager of Mississippi Power Debbie Benefield said.
"There will be companies and universities represented," Magee said. "The Port of Gulfport, Ingalls Shipbuilding, Northrop-Grumman, Pearl River Community College, University of Mississippi Gulf Coast and Gulf Coast Community College."
Some job training opportunities available are in the fields of welding, pipe-fitting, plumbing, plastering and electrical service and repair.
The training fair will be at First Missionary Baptist Church at 256 Sycamore St., Bay St. Louis, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday.
For more information about the Workforce Development Program call, (888) 601-8214.