Yesterday, Meridian Community College opened the doors to its new MCC Riley Workforce Development Center. The center is offering a wide variety of classes not typical of the norm.
“It’s a non-credit offering, meaning you don’t get college credit for it. It’s just seat time in a class. You do get certificates,” said Joseph Knight, dean of community and business development.
Some classes are labeled as continuing education.
“Things such as cake decorating, ballet dancing, guitar classes, things of that nature. So, personal interest is what we utilize as continuing education,” said Knight.
Other classes fall under workforce development, which focuses more on industry-specific skills training.
“It could be something as simple as learning how to read a tape measure and basic mathematical skills. Or, it can be something as advanced as robotics or programmable logic controllers and PLCs, which tell heavy equipment and machinery in an industrial setting when to do what it’s supposed to do and how it’s supposed to do it,” said Knight.
People don’t have to go through admissions to take a class at the MCC Riley Workforce Development Center. All they have to do is go to the center, look through the class catalog, sign up for the class they want to take, and pay the class fees.
Classes start as low as $30 and can last anywhere between a day and 120 hours. Knight said that having a place such as the workforce development center is key to the community.
“We have to demonstrate to businesses and industries that we have a work-ready community. Without the necessary skills that any service-oriented business wants to start up here or relocate here, we got to prove to those businesses that the individuals in meridian and Lauderdale County are ready to go to work.”