RICHLAND – Kendrick Hines had his eye on Hinds Community College’s Diesel Equipment Technology program for several months before he was finally able to get in and complete the program.
Hines this week hit another milestone when he signed a three-year apprenticeship agreement with Stribling Equipment, the first agreement for the company, that is part of a partnership between Hinds Community College, Stribling Equipment and the U.S. Department of Labor.
“This really means a lot to me. A lot of hard work and long nights in school went into it,” said Hines, 21, of Bolton. “This program was good to me. I’ve done everything I could to get into it. I tried to put my heart into it.”
Josh Bower, assistant career-technical education dean for Hinds’ Raymond Campus and district workforce and talent development liaison, said Hinds Community College is the sponsor of the registered apprenticeship program with Stribling Equipment as the industry partner.
“Of course, you can’t have an apprenticeship without industry. Industry makes it happen,” Bower said. “It has a related technical instruction component, which is the Hinds side. These are the classes that Kendrick has completed. It also has an on-the-job training component, which will be with Stribling.”
This type of apprenticeship program “is the direction we’re going in America,” said Hinds President Dr. Clyde Muse. “This program, and the programs at KLLM Driving Academy and Empire Truck Sales, are ideal for apprenticeships.”
Brian Henson, chief of staff for the Delta Regional Authority, who attended to support and learn more about the Hinds apprenticeship activities, agreed with Muse’s assessment.
“This is what we’re looking for today with apprenticeships. People need to understand that, today, the four-year degree is not always the way to go. There are very good apprenticeship programs that can provide you with a fruitful, valuable and great career. You can provide for your family and make a difference,” Henson said.
Students in the Diesel Equipment Technology program spend a year in the facility on Highway 18 near the Raymond Campus taking basic courses. The second year, they choose between the heavy equipment option and the diesel truck option when they move to the Diesel Technology Academy off Highway 49 in Richland. Some students want to do both and attend classes for an extra year.
Laurie George, navigator for the Diesel Equipment Technology program, said Hines tried to get in the program several months earlier and it was full. “So he went through the automotive program for two semesters. He came back, and I got him in.
“He has been a leader in the class since the day he came through the door. We knew this was a good fit for him. He is a great example of what the Hinds Diesel Technology program is all about.”
Signing the apprenticeship agreement on Nov. 12 were Hines, Muse and J.B. Swanson, director of continuous improvement at Stribling Equipment in Richland.
Hinds continues to collaborate with the Mississippi Apprenticeship Program (MAP) to expand registered apprenticeship programs in the state. MAP is an initiative led by Gov. Phil Bryant’s office, the Mississippi Community College Board, Mississippi Department of Employment Security and Mississippi Development Authority. Hinds was selected as a pilot college in 2017 and is celebrating National Apprenticeship Week during Nov. 11-15, 2019.
As Mississippi’s largest community college, Hinds Community College is a comprehensive institution offering quality, affordable educational opportunities with academic programs of study leading to seamless university transfer and career and technical programs teaching job-ready skills. With six locations in central Mississippi, Hinds enrolls about 12,000 students each fall semester. To learn more, visit www.hindscc.edu or call 1.800.HindsCC.