MEC Initiatives Prepare Students to Join Workforce, Addresses Companies’ Needs

JACKSON, Miss. (October 25, 2017) – Cooperative Energy and Origis Energy today made a joint donation of $125,000 to the Mississippi Scholars and Tech Master programs. The donation, announced at the Mississippi Economic Council’s annual Hobnob event, is the largest single gift ever made to the programs.

The Mississippi Scholars and Tech Master are initiatives of the Mississippi Economic Council’s Public Education Forum of Mississippi.

Mississippi Scholars provides a focus on a STEM – science, technology, engineering and math – curriculum. The program started in 2003 and is now offered in 118 school districts and has recognized more than 40,000 high school graduates.

Tech Master is designed to emphasize a tech-prep course of study, which provides technical skills to students who plan to enter the workforce after high school graduation or pursue post-secondary workforce certification.  Tech Master helps students acquire the necessary skills to thrive in the workplace. The program started in 2014 and is now offered in 83 school districts and has recognized more than 3,000 high school graduates.

Both programs are committed to helping Mississippi students prepare for the workforce or higher education.

“Mississippi must have a trained workforce to keep our companies and our communities strong,” said Jim Compton, CEO of Hattiesburg-based Cooperative Energy that supplies power to 55 counties throughout the state.  “The Mississippi Scholars and Tech Master programs are helping Mississippi students by providing the coursework and training for successful jobs. The STEM coursework they are provided will help them integrate technology into the daily educational experience by teachers who know how to best present these subjects.

“The Mississippi Scholars and Tech Master programs are of special interest to our company as they will provide pathways for students to great careers with very good incomes, and at the same time Cooperative Energy and its Members will benefit via a trained workforce. Everybody wins.  These programs are in schools located throughout Mississippi, so the entire state benefits – not just one geographic region. This was especially attractive to our board and instrumental in our decision to donate to these particular programs.”