Gazebo Gazette

Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College is committed to providing excellent workforce training to South Mississippi residents to prepare them for high-demand, high-paying jobs in local industry. Through grant programs from the state and federal government, as well as industry partners, MGCCC offers a variety of training at no cost to eligible participants.

Using BP RESTORE Act funds, MGCCC offers Cosmetology, Massage Therapy, Maritime Multi-Craft Technology, Heavy Equipment Operations Technology, Commercial Truck Driving, and Unmanned Maritime Systems Technology. Programs range from eight weeks to one year in length and are starting now.

Carlee Daughdrill, a Massage Therapy student, said he cannot believe he is attending the program at no cost.  “This is an outstanding program that is preparing me well for my career,” he said.  “Our instructor is familiar with so many people in local industry that not only provides us with tips of the trade but can offer us jobs in the future.”

Millie Bordelon, dean of West Harrison County Center and Special Projects, said the programs are offered at no cost, but students do incur some program-specific costs.  “Students do have some minor expenses, like the cost of a student kit full of tools they will use later in their careers. They also must pay for the cost of certifications they may need to work in their career.”

MGCCC ensures students in the no-cost programs are given the same experience as students in other programs. Bordelon said they are some of the very best programs in the region, and many have special endorsements. “Students are receiving the best training in the area. Our Maritime Multi-Craft Technology program is part of the Yamaha Training University, the only one in the region.  Our CDL program is a registered U.S. Department of Transportation Authorized Training Location. All the programs are registered through the appropriate agencies, and students receive credits in the programs that allow them to continue their education toward an associate degree if they wish to do that.”

Equipment used in the programs is state-of-the-art, including simulators and high-end spa facilities.  “Our students train in the best facilities and get a lot of practice with simulators available for Commercial Truck Driving and Heavy Equipment Operations Technology,” Bordelon said. “Our Cosmetology and Massage Therapy labs are set in spa-like facilities.”

Daughdrill said the facilities help simulate where he will be working when he completes his training. “The facilities make it more realistic for our training.  College employees come in to get massages from us, and it helps that we are working in a spa atmosphere.  It gives us an idea of what it will be like working in our new careers.”

For more information on any of the no-cost grant programs, visit mgccc.edu/gcwr or contact Millie Bordelon at 228-563-2236 or millie.bordelon@mgccc.edu.