Published by the Delta Democrat Times on May 8, 2015
Written by:
Tom Bassing

GREENVILLE — The demand for well-paying jobs in the energy sector is only going to rise, the president of the Mississippi Energy Institute on Thursday told the Rotary Club of Greenville.

And the industry-funded institute wants to help prepare a new generation of utility workers to take advantage of those looming opportunities, Greenville native and institute president Patrick Sullivan said in promoting the Jackson-based organization’s recently launched website.

The website, he said to Rotarians, is designed to direct students to educational opportunities to prepare for such positions, including schools such as Mississippi Delta Community College, in Moorhead, which also hosts classes at the Greenville Higher Education Center.
“We’re trying to reach out to teenagers,” Sullivan said of the intent behind the website: “It’s designed to point them to a pathway, to push more people into the pipeline.

“We want to spread the word that this resource is available.”

The effort, which is funded by energy and manufacturing companies, is not intended “to replace any existing program, but to become the information hub that centralizes information for skilled professional career programs and websites across the state,” according to the website.

“Educators, employers and other interested parties can point to Get On The Grid as a starting block into these professional careers.”
Not only are energy-related industries expanding, they employ an aging workforce, Sullivan said.

“The average age (of workers in such industries) in Mississippi is well into the 50s,” he said. “We need to develop the workforce to meet the growing need and to replace workers as they retire.

“We feel will help meet both those needs.”