Appalachian Regional Commission Awards Partnership Grant to Promote Skilled Manufacturing Workforce

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) today said a $730,559 Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) grant will help ensure Mississippi increases its access to skilled workers for the state’s growing manufacturing sector.

ARC recently announced the Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization (POWER) grant to the Starkville-based Golden Triangle Planning and Development District (GTPDD) to support workforce training and education in manufacturing.

“The Mississippi economy is growing and having a skilled workforce is necessary to keep that growth going,” Hyde-Smith said.  “I hope this ARC grant will help create opportunities for workers to get the skills they need to find full-time, well-paid jobs.”

GTPDD will work with three community colleges and private-sector businesses to implement a manufacturing training program based on the Mississippi Works Smart Start Career Pathway Model to increase the skilled workforce in Choctaw, Kemper, Webster, and Winston counties.

The POWER grant initiative was created to help communities and regions that have been affected by job losses in coal mining, coal power plant operations, and coal-related supply chain industries.  It is administered by ARC, a congressionally-authorized entity.

Hyde-Smith serves on the Senate Appropriations Committee which provided $165 million for ARC in FY2019, including not less than $16 million for industrial site and workforce development in Southern and South Central Appalachia and up to $13.5 million for Southern Appalachia.

In Mississippi, ARC jurisdiction covers these 24 counties:  Alcorn, Benton, Calhoun, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Clay, Itawamba, Kemper, Lee, Lowndes, Marshall, Monroe, Montgomery, Noxubee, Oktibbeha, Panola, Pontotoc, Prentiss, Tippah, Tishomingo, Union, Webster, Winston, and Yalobusha.