A partnership between the Hinds Diesel Equipment Academy and Empire Truck Sales has been the key to a new career for Matthew Voss.
Voss, 23, a Purvis native, has completed a three-year program to become a Registered Apprentice through the U.S. Department of Labor. Achieving the status through Empire has led to full-time employment at the company’s Hattiesburg location and fulfilling experiences for him.
“Before I went into the program, I was just cutting grass and helping my dad work on trucks and heavy equipment,” Voss said. “Now, I’ve been full-time at Empire since 2018 when I earned my Hinds credentials and hold a position of truck mechanic.”
Supervisors at Empire are mentors to the apprentices along the way, providing invaluable insight and career guidance.
“It helped tremendously having hands-on training because I learned how they handle and work on different engine problems,” he said. “It also prepared me for the way engines have changed, with the electrical and technology side. There are a lot more computer sensors on trucks now than they used to have.”
Bob Bullard, general service manager for Empire Truck Sales, touted the worth of the program for both the employee and management.
“Completing the Apprenticeship program brings value to Matthews’s future career opportunities and brings real value to us as an employer today,” Bullard said.
Hinds Community College is a partner of the Mississippi Apprenticeship Program (MAP). Funding for the MAP program is provided by the Mississippi Department of Employment Security and via the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. WIOA is an equal opportunity program.