At the opening of the Industrial Electronic Lab Pearl River Community College's Forrest County Center in Hattiesburg on June 14, Miss. Gov. Phil Bryant expressed what many manufacturing companies are experiencing.
Talking about the growth of manufacturing, Gov Byrant said, “We have 37,000 job openings. We don't have people looking for jobs, we have jobs looking for people," as reported by Ellen Ciurczak of Hattiesburg American. (For full article on Hattisburgh American click here.)
The lab was opened to prepare students for jobs in manufacturing and enhances the two-year Industrial Electronics Technology program curriculum at the college.
The college says that occupation within the electronic technology field is projected to grow 13% in the state. And looking at Hattiesburg, according to data collected by Southern Miss, manufacturing jobs increased 5.5% from the first quarter of 2016 to the first quarter of 2017.
The continued increasing number of jobs available will require higher levels of education. Currently, in Hattiesburg, 22.6% of the workforce has some college, and 21.5% has a high school education. Looking at bachelor’s degrees, 17.3% have one and 11.8% have a graduate degree.
Top employers in manufacturing currently include Mar-Jac Poultry, Channel Control Merchants and Kohler Engines.