Southwest Mississippi Community College Gains $4.8 Million For Regional Workforce Training Center

Cochran, Wicker Indicate Federal Funds Linked to 2008 Hurricane Gustav Recovery

February 18, 2010

 WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Thad Cochran and Roger Wicker today announced the award of a $4.8 million federal grant to support the rebuilding and expansion of the Regional Workforce Training Center at Southwest Mississippi Community College (SMCC) in Summit.

The award represents an investment by the U.S. Department of Commerce in the planned $6.0 million project, which will expand the center that suffered extensive damage during Hurricane Gustav in 2008.  The disaster recovery project is being funded through the Economic Development Administration (EDA).

“This project will allow Southwest Mississippi Community College to offer an expanded course selection that can help make better train students.  I appreciate the Economic Development Administration making this investment in the college and in the future of the workforce in southwest Mississippi,” said Cochran, the vice chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

“I appreciate the valuable investment the Economic Development Administration is making in the workforce and economy of Southwest Mississippi. This funding will help the Southwest Mississippi Community College equip area residents with advanced skills training and put more Mississippians to work,” said Wicker.
SMCC applied for the EDA grant as a disaster recovery project based on the job losses sustained following Hurricane Gustav.  The expanded center will offer new courses in emergency medicine, disaster readiness and homeland security.  According to the EDA, eight existing companies have committed to support the center, which serves Amite, Pike, Walthall and Wilkinson counties.