On Thursday, US Commerce Secretary Gina M. Raimondo announced the Department’s Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) American Bailout Act Economic Adjustment Assistance program award.
Northwest Mississippi Community College was awarded $7 million for the construction of a new 42,000-square-foot multi-purpose workforce and career technology education center located on the DeSoto Center campus in Southaven.
The center will house instructional programs focused on workforce training and health sciences programs. In addition, the new training facility will offer a regional standardized testing center and provide additional flexible space for student instruction and training.
“Enriching our communities and promoting training opportunities in our region is the pinnacle of our institutional success,” said Dr. Michael Heindl, president of Northwest. “This facility will be a game changer for our institution and our students.”
Collectively, the total cost of the project will be nearly $13 million. The project was funded with support from the Economic Development Administration – $7 million, the State of Mississippi – $3 million, the DeSoto County Board of Supervisors – $1 million, and over $1.9 million in institutional funds.
Michael Lee, Chairman of the DeSoto County Board of Supervisors, said, “This is a great opportunity for our county. The new facility will increase training opportunities for the needed workforce and broaden the education pipeline at a critical time when an educated workforce is desperately needed.”
Darren Musselwhite, Mayor of Southaven, stated: “Dr. Heindl and his team are constantly looking for ways to provide educational programs and services that lead to high-skilled, well-paying careers for our community. The Board of Aldermen and I are excited about this important addition to the Northwest DeSoto Center Campus in Southaven.”
The new center will offer courses focused on healthcare training, logistics technology and advanced manufacturing. The educational opportunities, career services, and articulated partnership with the University of Mississippi 2+2 Program located on campus have the ability to further impact and transform the lives of students.
In 2018, Northwest adopted the strategic plan, “Achieving Success,” which focuses on four commitments: educational success, institutional success, personal success, and community success. The proposed project will fulfill this 4-tier commitment and help our institution, workforce, community, economy, and most importantly, students in the Northwest eleven-county service area.
“On behalf of the DeSoto County Economic Development Council, the DeSoto County Board of Supervisors and the City of Southaven, we are thrilled that plans laid out years ago are now coming to fruition, providing a much-needed one-stop shop for both training and employment for our business, health and industrial sectors. We are grateful to the vision of Northwest Mississippi Community College, EDA, and our Congressional delegation for their generous support, stated Jim Flanagan, President/CEO, DeSoto County Economic Development Council.
This project is funded by the EDA’s American Rescue Plan Economic Adjustment Assistance program, which makes $500 million in Economic Adjustment Assistance grants available to American communities. The Economic Adjustment Assistance program is EDA’s most flexible program, and grants awarded under this program will help hundreds of communities across the country plan, build, innovate and put people back to work. through construction or non-construction projects designed to meet local needs.
Photo: Artist’s rendering of a new 42,000-square-foot multi-purpose career education and career technology center located on the DeSoto Center campus in Southaven. (NWCC photo)