Participants in the 2018-19 Aspire Mississippi program who represented Webster County graduated in March.
Webster County’s community project was “YES! Youth Empowerment Skills” – a project focused on providing high school students with improved job and workforce training skills.
Team members from Webster County included Kelly Powell of the Webster County Career and Technology Center, Extension County Director Lisa Stewart, Michael Kolb, Melissa Vaughan, Chad Winter and Eupora Mayor Lamar Dumas. They were led by The Enterprise of Mississippi, the economic development organization representing interests in Choctaw and Webster counties. Lara Bowman is executive director.
The Webster County leadership team presented its project to MDA representatives Chance McDavid and Ellen Bordeaux at the end of April.
Ten students from the WCCTC participated in the program and performed 60 hours of employment with local manufacturers, retail employers and the city public works department to gain work experience. The program was a success and will be implemented this fall with a larger class of participants. Webster County Aspire participants will graduate from the program in December.
Aspire Mississippi is a program designed to help develop leaders at the local level who will implement innovative programs and projects in their communities to spur economic growth.
Aspire Mississippi provides support to participants as they identify marketable assets, allowing them to increase industrial and economic development in their counties. The program helps communities develop projects that will achieve significant and sustainable community and economic development outcomes. Curriculum focus areas include project mapping, community development, economic development and workforce development.
“Through Aspire Mississippi, we aim to help communities reach their full potential by working closely with a diverse team of existing and emerging leaders representing many community sectors,” said McDavid, MDA Asset Development Division director.
“It is important to involve traditional leaders like elected officials and business owners, and it is just as important to seek those individuals who are passionate about their communities and participating in community-building initiatives.”
For more information, visit mississippi.org/aspire.