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2012 December 24 - 12:00 am

NEWS BRIEFS:

  • Miss. Colleges To Collaborate With Toyota

BELDEN, Miss. (AP) — Toyota Motor Manufacturing Mississippi and four community colleges are launching a partnership to train people for advanced manufacturing jobs.

The Advanced Manufacturing Technician Program gives students the chance to take two days of classroom instruction and three days of hands-on experience at Toyota’s Blue Springs plant each week.

Students will earn an advanced manufacturing associate degree in five semesters.

The colleges involved are Itawamba Community College, Northeast Mississippi Community College, Northwest Mississippi Community College and East Mississippi Community College.

“If manufacturing becomes more technical in nature — the machinery becomes more technical, more complicated — than what you really have to have in order to grow your business is a pool of highly technical, skilled people,” Toyota Vice President For Administration David Copenhaver said.

Officials said the goal is to make north Mississippi’s industrial work force stronger.

“This partnership with Toyota, where they are funding a person to be in class to earn a technical degree in a specific skill is job security,” Itawamba Community College President David Cole said. “It’s also job security for Toyota because it guarantees them a long-term, reliable, advanced technology workforce.”

  • NC College Offers Beer Crafting Class

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — It’s the perfect courses for plenty of college students: crafting beer.

Asheville-Buncombe Community College plans to offer a series of classes to support the area’s beverage industry.

The Asheville Citizen Times reported the school is seeking state approval to create the Craft Beverage Institute of the Southeast. The program would prepare students for the area’s winery, brewery and distillery industries.

School president Hank Dunn says the mission of the community college is to find local needs and meet them.

The school plans to start the program with two dozen students next fall.

The Asheville area will have 10 microbreweries in operation next month.

  • Sheriff’s Office To Cover Cost Of Degrees

THIBODAUX, La. (AP) — Lafourche Parish deputies will soon have a chance to get an associate degree in criminal justice from Fletcher Technical Community College and the cost of tuition and fees will picked up by the sheriff’s office.

Under the system, the sheriff’s office will pay for the program for any employee who keeps a “C” average or better, starting in 2013.

Sheriff Craig Webre said in a news release he hopes it will lead to a team that is more up to date on cutting-edge law enforcement technology and techniques.

  • Maine College Gets First New Prez in 30 years

FAIRFIELD, Maine (AP) — Kennebec Valley Community College is getting its first new president in three decades.

The Board of Trustees approved Fulbright scholar and Harvard School of Education graduate Richard Hopper as the school’s new president. The 49-year-old Hopper is a World Bank education specialist.

He said he has provided guidance and advice to governments and higher education institutions around the world during his 13 years with the World Bank.

He says he’s still formulating his goals and acknowledges the school faces challenges in a tough economy. He takes over on April 22 from Barbara Woodlee, who’s retiring after 30 years as president.

  • Perry Announces Fast-Track Training Program

HARLINGEN, Texas (AP) — Gov. Rick Perry has announced a new workforce training initiative that aims to fast-track education for people with skills and real-world experience but without formal certification.

Perry said that the Skilled Workforce Initiative would seek to meet the growing demand for skilled workers in areas such as advanced manufacturing with people who already have some training and experience, including military veterans and displaced workers.

The first classes would begin in September 2013 at Texas State Technical College campuses in Harlingen and East Williamson County.

  • Former Idaho Athlete Guilty in Steroid Case

TWIN FALLS, Idaho (AP) — A former College of Southern Idaho baseball player has pleaded guilty to selling anabolic steroids.

The Times-News reports 21-year-old William Robert “Billy Bob” Ward of Las Vegas pleaded guilty on Nov. 19 to three counts of delivery of a controlled substance.

Prosecutors are recommending a three- to nine-year prison sentence that could be reduced under the retained jurisdiction program when Ward is sentenced on Jan. 7.

Ward said he pleaded guilty because on three occasions between February and May he delivered testosterone propionate to a confidential informant. He was arrested in May after an Idaho State Police investigation into Ward’s reported sale of anabolic steroids to several of his teammates.

Ward had just finished his sophomore season at the community college at the time of his arrest.

  • Delta CC Offers Session Over Holiday Season

MONROE, La. (AP) — Louisiana Delta Community College is offering its first winter session for students who want to take a three-credit course over the holidays.

It’s offering 18 intensive classes from an academic skills seminar to human anatomy and physiology. Five classes are online. No federal financial aid will be available for the winter term.

Interim Chancellor Jerry Ryan says he expects it to attract both Delta students and those home for the holidays from other schools. Ryan says the college is considering a similar intensive term between the spring and summer terms.

  • Miss. College Inks Agreement On Gulf with EPA

POPLARVILLE, Miss. (AP) — Pearl River Community College and the Environmental Protection Agency have signed an agreement to promote a program to get students involved in environmental studies.

PRCC President William Lewis and Ben Scaggs, director of EPA’s Gulf of Mexico Program, signed the internship and research agreement.

The Gulf of Mexico Program was founded in 1988 at the Stennis Space Center in Hancock County. It promotes programs on environmental and cultural issues associated with preserving the Gulf Coast.

The program has several partnerships with universities, including the University of Southern Mississippi. Scaggs said PRCC is the first community college to sign on.

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