BOONEVILLE • Dozens of Northeast Mississippi Community College students signed internship agreements at a ceremony hosted by the school in Booneville on Tuesday.

The Tiger Apprenticeship Signing Ceremony followed an interview day in October where students met with representatives to narrow down the list of companies for which they preferred to work.

NEMCC career technical counselor Carrie Cobb said students have been working since the beginning of the semester to prepare resumes and get enrolled in the apprenticeship program.

“We let them know what companies are participating so that we can get them to understand that it is something that will only help them grow with their program, with their education that they’re getting here,” Cobb said. “It’ll put them into opportunities to get the hands-on experience in the job market that they need in their field.”

The apprenticeship program began in 2017 as a way to connect students with companies and provide a pathway for them to get quality jobs straight out of college.

Around 60 NEMCC students and 20 local companies are participating in the apprenticeship program this year.

Payne Thornton, assistant manager at Tombigbee Tooling, Inc. in Mantachie, said his company has been hiring Northeast graduates for years and they are “always very impressed with the students, their eagerness to learn and their eagerness to work.”

The company offers an apprenticeship program that typically runs for four years after graduation, but with this program, students get a head start and shorten the timeline by about a year by beginning while they are still in school.

Justin Rodgers, a Falkner native and sophomore at Northeast, will have an apprenticeship with Masterpiece Engineering in Corinth.

“This company that I’m working for, I don’t plan on just leaving after the apprenticeship is over,” Rodgers said. “I think this is a great opportunity for me to stay here and build on something, to one day be in a good position with this company.”

blake.alsup@journalinc.com

Twitter: @AlsupTheWriter

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