Job readiness seminars prepare students to enter workforce

Job readiness seminars prepare students to enter workforce


Mississippi Power’s partnership with Strategic Systems, Inc. and the Ministerial Alliance to provide job readiness seminars for 11th- and 12th-grade students continues across the service territory.

A spinoff of the Workforce Development job fairs held in 2013 and 2014, the seminars are attended by students recommended by their local church, high school guidance counselor or other organizations reaching out to young adults who are preparing to leave high school.

“The seminars are held over two consecutive Saturday’s and focus on preparing the students to enter the workforce,” said Tom Espy, president of Strategic Systems, Inc. “The first day includes a discussion on beginning with a goal in mind, proper interview and work attire, interpersonal communications skills and what is required when preparing for a job interview.”

Other topics include working with others as a team, valuing and respecting diversity, and responding to feedback from others. The students leave with a homework assignment to prepare their resume for the following Saturday.

During the final session resumes are reviewed, students apply for jobs and go through mock interviews. Mississippi Power employees serve as interviewers and provide feedback to the students.

“Our division managers recommend employees to serve as the interviewers, and there is no shortage of employees who want to participate,” said Community Development Manager Brad Bradford. “It’s another way for us to give back to our communities.

“Mr. Espy of Strategic Systems has a great group of retired educators who serve as instructors. They bring years of classroom experience to the seminars and really are very good at what they do.”

Seminars have been held in Forest, Meridian, Hattiesburg, Laurel, Biloxi and Moss Point. Upcoming seminars will be held in Columbia, Pascagoula and Gulfport.

“Students tell us the seminars are very helpful and their parents say they are a good experience for the children,” said Rev. Sheldon Thomas of Little Rock Missionary Baptist Church in Forest and a member of the Ministerial Alliance.

Mississippi Power, a subsidiary of Southern Company (NYSE: SO), produces safe, reliable and environmentally responsible energy for nearly 187,000 customers in 23 southeast Mississippi counties. Mississippi Power ranked first in the Southeast Electric Exchange’s 2016 Safety Performance Reports and is consistently recognized as an industry leader in reliability, customer service and safety. Visit our websites at and, like us on Facebook, and follow us on TwitterLinkedInGoogle+ and YouTube.