JONES COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - With recent layoffs at Wayne Farms, a local junior college is helping folks get back on their feet and get new careers started.
Jones County Junior College has two programs that will help with these efforts.
One program called Rapid Response will get in touch with employees facing a layoff and give them information about their options.
The second is a training program called MIBEST that will help people build skills they need to get the jobs they want.
"The three entities get together whenever a company is laying off or either they're closing and we combine our services and resources in order to provide what those employees need as they are moving out of those jobs and looking at their future as to what career they would like to go into," said Candace Weaver with Jones County Junior College.
MIBEST is a new program that started in January and caters to students who need their high school equivalency or GED.
"My ultimate goal is building cars so welding is part of the task," said student Alonso Hernandez.
The program is free and funded by a grant that pays for student tuition and books.
"Where I come from its really rare to find somewhere that is willing to support you that much and really interested in making you succeed," Hernandez said.
During a typical welding class, students learn how to cut metal and work together as a team on projects.
Teacher Tracy Warden said he enjoys helping students who share his passion.
"I get rewards out of all of it not just on mental level, but spiritual level you also get to teach people something they have never seen or never will see," Warden said.
However, the program helps more than just people who did not finish high school. It can help workers who are laid off or interested in learning new skills.
If you are interested in enrolling in MIBEST, call 601-477-4164