Bower’s diverse duties propel Workforce initiatives

by | Jun 15, 2023 | Foundation

Josh Bower is a man of many hats: He serves as the Dean of Agriculture and Transportation, as well as the Director of Talent, Workforce and Economic Development.

Since coming to Hinds in 2017, he has been driven to positively impact citizens and industry partners in our communities. He particularly cherishes Hinds’ sponsored Registered Apprenticeship programs. Over the past five years, he has nurtured partnerships with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and local businesses.

“These apprenticeship programs provide Hinds students the opportunity to combine classroom instruction with paid work experience. Many of the apprentices will have their tuition paid for if they complete their program,” he said.

During the Workforce and Education Alliance luncheon in November, Bower organized a Registered Apprenticeship signing day ceremony. Apprentices signed with Empire Truck Sales, Stribling Equipment and Continental Tire. The ceremony also included two apprentices receiving their completion certificates from the DOL. To conclude the ceremony, Bower recognized the KLLM Driving Academy for completing over 569 apprentices through the Hinds partnership.

Another high point is the partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) in Vicksburg. In 2018, Bower was assigned to develop a relationship with the ERDC Graduate Institute. Each year Hinds has added to the workforce training offerings requested by ERDC.

“I definitely get satisfaction when we create and execute a training program that helps the ERDC teams. It’s great to see the diversity of training offerings that have grown over the years. They are sending people from all over the country to be trained at Hinds. We have a world-class government agency in our backyard, and we are honored the ERDC Graduate Institute continues to trusts us to provide quality training for their teams,” he said.

Bower helps with requests from local economic developers, the Mississippi Development Authority and Central Mississippi Planning and Development Districts. He is also involved in the $1.3 million Workforce Opportunity for Rural Communities grant from the Delta Regional Authority and DOL. This grant is focused on three major workforce training academies: Advanced Manufacturing, Maritime and Logger Equipment Operations.

“I’ve been very blessed with great mentors who have invested time in me. I’m grateful for the opportunity to serve alongside our talented Hinds team. We have a calling to change lives and our team has implemented several innovative workforce solutions to keep our communities globally competitive. I’m thankful to have played a role on several of these initiatives.”