Food for thought: Consider a technical career instead of liberal arts

Posted by Cathy Hayden on Fri, Nov, 20, 2015 @ 14:11:00 PM

In Hinds Community College, HindsCC, career-technical

Did you know that someone can make $120,000 in Mississippi painting the large 18-wheeler trucks?

Neither did I. But that’s what I heard from Jerry Swanson recently at the 37th Annual  Counselor and Principal meeting. That’s a meeting we have every year at Hinds Community College to talk to high school counselors, principals and other educators about what’s new at Hinds.

This year’s version kicked off with a panel discussion moderated by Patrick Sullivan, president of Mississippi Energy Institute with Swanson, David Creel, director of Workforce Manufacturing Training at Hinds; and Nissan recruiters Renata Ratliff and Nicole Saxton.

Swanson is chief executive officer for Stribling Equipment/Empire Truck Sales in Richland. He eloquently made the case to high school educators that they need to help convince students and parents to consider community college technical programs instead of just four-year university liberal arts programs.

Nothing against liberal arts programs, Swanson said. And I agree. But not everyone needs a master’s degree in theological studies (which I hope to finish by next August). Some of us need to get trained in something our local business and industries need. Swanson said his company has a “giant appetite for technical students …They are a rare commodity.”

Hinds has programs for just about anybody’s talents or tastes — welding, industrial maintenance and health-related, just to mention a few.  For more information, click here.

And while I’m speaking of tastes…Hinds’ Culinary Arts program is now on three campuses, Jackson Campus-Academic/Technical Center, Utica and Vicksburg-Warren. New chef and director of the Culinary Arts Institute is Austin Lee. He wowed us all with a demonstration of cutting techniques, particularly how to cut a bell pepper. His audience, including me, actually gasped.





Austin Lee