One of Mississippi Power’s core commitments to the customers and communities we serve is to support education initiatives at all grade levels.

In the last few years, the company has worked with several community colleges across the 23-county service territory as they’ve started lineman training programs to help prepare their students for opportunities in the state’s workforce.

Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College’s Jackson County Campus and Pearl River Community College in Poplarville were the first to begin their programs. East Central Community College in Decatur began offering a program last year. Meridian Community College’s program started this month, while Jones College in Ellisville is scheduled to begin a line worker program in August.

Members of the Meridian line crew visit with the first class of Meridian Community College’s Lineman Training Program in December.

“Supporting these programs is another way we can help prepare the workforce of tomorrow for jobs in our industry,” Senior Community Development Representative Ann Holland said. “We’ve designated an employee to be active and in constant communication with the instructors at these colleges. This helps ensure students are learning real-world skills they’ll be able to apply to their careers.”

MCC recently held a kickoff event for their line worker program. Members of the Meridian line crew paid a visit to the 10 students that are enrolled in the first semester of the course.

“We focused on the importance of working safely, and the class was very engaged with that message,” Engineering and Operations Manager Rob Robinson said. “We’ve had tremendous success supporting the program at East Central and we’re looking forward to working with the team at MCC.”

MCC’s program will teach students how to operate commercial vehicles, make connections on de-energized poles and equipment, check voltage and other duties performed by linemen.

Darren Bane, Workforce Development Project Manager at MCC, said the school began the lineman training program because it recognizes the importance of creating opportunities for its students.

“We value our relationships with our industry partners and are counting on input from Mississippi Power’s local team to hold us accountable,” said Bane. “Our students will learn skills relevant to this industry and have the opportunity to network with utility workers. It’s a win-win situation.”

Now in its 96th year of operations, Mississippi Power, a subsidiary of Southern Company (NYSE: SO), produces safe, reliable and affordable energy for more than 188,000 customers in 23 southeast Mississippi counties. Mississippi Power recently was a recipient of the Community Partner Impact Award from the Center for Energy Workforce Development for its innovative and ongoing efforts to build a diverse workforce. With nearly 160 megawatts of approved solar energy capacity, Mississippi Power is the largest partner in providing renewable energy in the state of Mississippi. Visit our websites and, like us on Facebook, and follow us on TwitterInstagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube.