Get on the Grid — A New Resource for Energy and Manufacturing Careers in Mississippi
The Mississippi Energy Institute has launched Get on the Grid, a web-based resource designed to connect young people to training programs in energy and advanced manufacturing industries.
Foundation for the Mid South supported this initiative with funds to increase the awareness of living wage jobs in these highly technical, in-demand careers.
Dispelling the Stigma of “Dirty Work”
“Blue collar” professions that deal with welding, machinery and electric work often carry a stigma, causing them to be seen as less valid than careers in the college-educated, professional sector.
However, “blue collar” jobs tend to be among the highest-paying in Mississippi. These jobs are in demand, and often don’t require a 4-year degree. Many are available to those with a GED and proper training, whether through on-the-job experience or a technical degree.
Get on the Grid offers information and training resources on the type of jobs available in these cutting-edge industries.   
How It Works
Get on the Grid:
Provides detailed information on careers available in energy and advanced manufacturing, including education requirements, salary overviews and other skills needed.
Connects readers with various training programs at local universities and community colleges across the state. Resources from major companies are also provided.
Offers advice and tips regarding how to “land the job,” covering topics like winning interviews and the value of a good work ethic.
Patrick Sullivan, president of the Mississippi Energy Institute, explains, “Workforce development is, without question, the most important economic issue for Mississippi. Improvements are needed both in terms of quality and quantity. Ultimately, our goal is to see enrollments increase in specific training programs throughout Mississippi, starting with community college programs.” 
Raising the Standard of Living
Get on the Grid offers an alternative for those who may feel trapped in low skill, low wage jobs. Foundation for the Mid South sees this resource as an avenue for underrepresented populations to find their way into traditionally male career tracks.
These training programs strengthen valuable industries in our state, which translates to healthier communities, a higher standard of living and a stronger economic presence.
Sullivan explains, “If [we] can get young people to better understand more of these career opportunities where they can actually find a job and make a very nice living, that’s an early step to building the supply of skills needed today and in the future.”
Justin Burch of Foundation for the Mid South adds, “We’re trying to train people today for the jobs of tomorrow to keep the Mid South region competitive in a global economy.”
Foundation for the Mid South is proud to support this initiative and looks forward to seeing the impact Get on the Grid will have on communities across Mississippi.