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LINK, EMCC partner on center

June 19, 2014

By KAYLEIGH SWISHER FEW
Special to Daily Times Leader

MAYHEW — A critical component in providing a top-notch education is having the facilities to do so.
That was Golden Triangle Development LINK CEO Joe Max Higgins' message at the organization's June luncheon meeting Wednesday at East Mississippi Community College's Mayhew campus.
At the meeting, Higgins outlined new plans to relocate and expand EMCC's Golden Triangle Campus workforce training program center.
The new Center for Manufacturing Technology Excellence (CMTE) building would triple the number of bays from five to 15.
Higgins said the current building is quickly becoming too small to accommodate the large number of students enrolling in the program every semester, and the new building will offer more space necessary for the hand-on education required for training in the automotive, electrical and manufacturing fields.
The building would also feature an "inspiration" area which would highlight the various forms of manufacturing in the Golden Triangle Region (GTR), as well as space for leasing.
Higgins said this project was largely influenced by the results of a POLICOM survey presented at last month's meeting which reinforced the vital need for greater workforce training as a means of attracting more industry to the region.
"We're building a world class deal, so we need to look world class," Higgins said.
Malcolm Portera, who has been involved with workforce recruiting for the new Yokohama Tire Company manufacturing plant set to open in October 2015, said the emphasis on manufacturing training is a reflection of the current job market environment, and the new facility will help Clay County provide the type of labor that will attract new businesses.
"Yokohoma is requiring a high school diploma or GED and a silver certification on WorkKeys," Portera said. "The way WorkKeys goes is bronze, silver, gold and platinum. So you just don't in this day and time locate industries here and expect people are just going to come in droves. They've got to come with qualifications, and they have to be technically trained."

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