The Community Foundation of Washington County (hereinafter referred to as “CFWC”) is pleased to announce the Delta Workforce Marketing Initiative, which is a collaborative partnership between the CFWC, the Washington County Economic Alliance (hereinafter referred to as “WCEA”), the Mississippi Delta Community College Charles W. Capps, Jr. Technology Center (hereinafter referred to as the “Capps Technology Center”), and the Delta Regional Authority (hereinafter referred to as “DRA”). The Delta Workforce Marketing Initiative is a collaborative partnership that will work to rebrand and promote the training programs and classes of the Capps Technology Center. This Initiative is being deployed throughout Washington County, a rural community classified as high need, in all unemployment, under-employment, and underserved sectors with the goal of helping our residents become aware of the training available for skill enhancement so they can gain employment in an effort to close the middle skill job gap in Washington County.
The CFWC committed Twenty Thousand Dollars and 00/100 ($20,000.00) towards the Delta Workforce Marketing Initiative, which was coupled with funding from the DRA in the amount of Twenty Thousand Dollars and 00/100 ($20,000.00), to yield a Forty Thousand Dollar and 00/100 ($40,000.00) total investment towards the development and implementation of a marketing plan for the Capps Technology Center. Cary Karlson, Executive Director of the WCEA, stated “We are so pleased to have the partnership between the WCEA, the DRA, and the CFWC as we look to inform those in Washington County and the Mississippi Delta about the training opportunities at the Capps Technology Center. Having a trained workforce will help us greatly as we work to grow the economy in the Mississippi Delta.” Karlson further stated, “We knew that by matching the priorities of both of these organizations this workforce development initiative could really be expanded to maximize its impact on our Washington County community.”
According to Terri Lane, Executive Director of the CFWC, “After extensive research surrounding the landscape of Workforce Development here in our county, it was evident to our board that many valuable training programs, services and resources existed that were targeted to help enhance the workforce training and skills of residents with the goal of helping the unemployed and under-employed successfully compete for gainful employment. However, communications and marketing are vital components towards ensuring that residents are aware of how to access and take advantage of these workforce training resources.” The CFWC and the DRA took this as a challenge and committed funding towards the development and implementation of a communications and marketing plan to work, in partnership, with the Capps Technology Center to help tell their story.
Improved workforce competitiveness is one of DRA’s key strategic goals, according to Chris Masingill, Co-Chairman of the DRA, “Workforce development and training throughout the Delta region is essential to develop communities that can be competitive regionally, nationally and globally,” Masingill said. “This project will have an immediate and strong impact on the residents of Washington County, encourage attendance at workforce training classes at the Capps Technology Center and increase the ability of trainees to enhance their earning potential.
“We greatly appreciate the WCEA for administering a program that will be a vital component of workforce development in the region. This program will enable area workers to access information and develop the skills necessary to close the job gap in Washington County and contribute to the growth of the Mississippi Delta economy,” Masingill added.
The Capps Technology Center, the workforce training arm of Mississippi Delta Community College, is located in Indianola, Mississippi and offers a wide array of training opportunities from manufacturing basics to welding to hospitality. Todd Donald, Vice President of Workforce Economic Development, at the Capps Technology Center, is equally as optimistic about this initiative. “This project is so exciting to our team here at the Capps Technology Center. We’ve selected Aha! Creative to work with us on the development of our plan to reach out to residents across Washington County to educate them on the offerings at our facility and local offerings held at the Greenville Higher Education Center, right here in Greenville. We are grateful to be a part of this larger conversation of how to communicate and educate our Mississippi Delta communities of how the Capps Technology Center can help them make a difference in their lives and enhance their earning potential to best care for their families and give back to their communities.” The plan in development by Aha! Creative is being created with a timeline for implementation throughout this year. “We are looking to pilot our plan here in Washington County, as we have strong support from the WCEA and the CFWC,” states Donald. “With measurable positive outcomes and success stories, our plan is to continue our efforts into additional counties in the future. This initiative shows that the combination of governmental dollars and non-profit dollars can work together to truly make a long-lasting, positive impact on our communities here in the Mississippi Delta.”