BELDEN – Mississippi was one of four states chosen to participate in a U.S. Department of Labor program that funds 80 percent of costs associated with online job training courses.
The program, called E-Magnolia, was announced Thursday at Itawamba Community College’s Belden campus.
E-Magnolia is a partnership with the DOL and the state Department of Employment Security in an effort to rapidly retrain workers and provide certificates and degrees.
The courses will be offered in Northeast Mississippi through ICC.
Other community colleges are able to partner with the program if they offer online courses.
Michael Curran, the special programs officer for MDES, said the program is targeted statewide toward retraining unemployed workers to have the skills to enter high-growth industries and occupations.
It also is aimed at training current employees so they can advance in their careers, he said.
The industries identified for Mississippi are health care, energy, information technology, community and social services, office and administrative support, construction and advanced manufacturing.
Todd Beadles, vice president of work force development at the Community Development Foundation, said the targeted industries are in line with the needs in Northeast Mississippi.
Open enrollment starts Monday and is expected to close at the end of the month. Curran said the deadline may be extended, depending on the response.
MDES hopes to get about 500 people to enroll in the classes.
The majority of the courses cost about $1,000 to $3,000, Curran said. MDES requires participants to pay 20 percent of the cost and it provides scholarships for the rest, up to $3,000.
To participate in the program, Curran said people need to start at E-Magnolia.org by filling out a survey. The site then will direct NEMS residents to online classes at ICC.
The WIN Job Centers will be available for participants who need a computer and Internet access.
The Tupelo center is expected to open Dec. 7 inside ICC’s Belden campus, according to Betsy Maxcy, branch director for MDES. It currently is on South Thomas Street.
For more information about the program, Curran recommended people visit E-Magnolia.org, go to the nearest WIN Job Center or call (888) 844-3577.
Contact Carlie Kollath at (662) 678-1598 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Carlie Kollath/NEMS Daily Journal