Saturday, August 13, 2022

Northwest Recognizes Toyota Scholarship and Workforce Grants

Northwest Mississippi Community College President Dr. Gary Lee Spears, center, presents a plaque of appreciation to Ryan T. Miller, programs manager and assistant director for the Haley Barbour Center for Manufacturing Excellence at the University of Mississippi, left. (Photo submitted)
Northwest Mississippi Community College President Dr. Gary Lee Spears, center, presents a plaque of appreciation to Ryan T. Miller, programs manager and assistant director for the Haley Barbour Center for Manufacturing Excellence at the University of Mississippi, left. (Photo submitted)

The Northwest Mississippi Community College Foundation is in the second year of a five-year grant award through the Mississippi Manufacturing Enhancement Grant and the Toyota-Haley Barbour Scholarship Grant.

Ryan T. Miller, programs manager and assistant director for the Haley Barbour Center for Manufacturing Excellence, recently welcomed Northwest President Dr. Gary Lee Spears, and Sybil Canon, associate vice president for development and special projects, to the manufacturing center located on the campus of The University of Mississippi.

Opening in 2007, Toyota has brought 2,000 jobs and invested $905.6 million in its new operation. In addition, Toyota has contributed $15.8 million to local non-profits. Northwest is among those who are receiving a generous grant from Toyota.

When Toyota selected Blue Springs, Mississippi as the site of its tenth manufacturing plant in the United States, the State of Mississippi became the beneficiary of an exciting future. Through negotiations made by Haley Barbour, former governor of Mississippi, Toyota is providing a grant of $677,500 to four community colleges, of which Northwest is one. Other four-year universities in Mississippi are also receiving grants.

The grant consists of $250,000 to be used for career-technical scholarships and $427,500 to be designated for Workforce Development. The scholarship grant is being paid in $50,000 increments over a five-year period, and the Workforce Development grant is being paid in $142,500 increments over a three-year period.

This grant to Northwest is directly related to the excellence of the Precision Manufacturing Technology program under the leadership of Instructor Jim Gilliam. Even before Toyota moved to Mississippi, the graduates of this program were attracting the attention of Toyota personnel in Kentucky. It is because of the quality of instruction and the quality of the graduates that Northwest was included in this grant.

In appreciation for the inclusion of Northwest, Spears presented Miller with a plaque of appreciation. “We are using these grant funds to purchase equipment to enhance the instruction of our students in manufacturing skills, and the scholarship funds are a particular benefit to our students,” Spears said.

For more information about the Northwest Foundation contact Canon at 662-560-1103 or email srcanon@northwestms.edu. Learn more about Northwest by visiting the college’s website at www.northwestms.edu.

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