Hinds works individually with industry partners to provide tailored training for their specific employee needs. Two of those partners, both based in Vicksburg, are the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC), which is the premier research and development center for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and Unified Brands, which provides professional food equipment design, manufacturing and service.
“We do a lot of work with them and they’re very supportive of Hinds and what we’re doing,” said David Creel, Associate Vice President of Workforce Development.
ERDC employees recently participated in an AutoCAD (computer-aided design) class at Hinds’ Emerging Technologies Training Center in the Mississippi Center for Innovation & Technology (MCITy).
“We’re providing several types of training for a world-class institution,” said Josh Bower, Dean of Agriculture and Transportation/Director of Talent, Workforce & Economic Development.
“Based on their needs, our team has provided Inventor 3D Design, SolidWorks, Basic Electrical, OSHA 30 Construction, Data Collection, and more.” The relationship really started a few years ago when ERDC employees were trained in Hinds Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) program with what is commonly known as drones, said Stan Woodson, Director of ERDC Graduate Institute.
“The relationship means a whole lot to us. It’s become very valuable. It’s been a very successful partnership and we’re going to keep it going,” Woodson said. “Participants always do class evaluations, and we always get great evaluations for all the classes that we are doing with Hinds. People keep coming back for more advanced classes.”
Unified Brands consolidated operations a few years ago in Warren County. “And at that point, they begin to add people. We’ve been working with them ever since then to provide welding training, machine operator training and basic manufacturing skills,” Creel said. “We’re very actively involved. We’re out there every week training new employees as well as some of their existing employees on various things to help them as they continue to ramp up to full staffing for that facility.”
Unified Brands also is paying for some current employees to take management training courses, he said.