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PRCC students gain experience on job

HATTIESBURG, Miss.  Pearl River Community College students Brandon Fleming, Rashan Foxworth and Grayson McDonnell are doing internships this semester they hope will lead to good jobs after they graduate.

They are interning at Wesley Merit Health, thanks to the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.

All three are sophomores in the Biomedical Equipment Repair Technology department at PRCC’s Forrest County Center. They are working as biomedical equipment repair technicians, getting hands-on experience diagnosing and repairing electronic hospital equipment.

“Internships are key to students getting their foot in the door with employment by obtaining real industry experience upon graduation,” said PRCC instructor Sam McNease.

“It’s difficult for students to find employment straight out of school, so being equipped with this experience gives them an advantage when they start applying for jobs at the entry level.”

Fleming, 25, is a graduate of Bay High School in Bay St. Louis. He would like to work for a national company as a Bio-Med Technician.

“What excites me about Pearl River has been meeting new people and learning new subjects and skills for my future,” he said. “I have been able to learn new skills that I can use on the job.”

Foxworth, 47, attended East Marion High School and lives in Columbia. His goal is to eventually earn a bachelor’s degree in the electronics field.

“At this stage in my life, I am very excited to continue my education in a field that I am very passionate about,” said Foxworth. 

McDonnell, 26, attended St. Martin High School in Ocean Springs.  He is a Phi Theta Kappa student and member of the National Technical Honor Society. His goal is to find a career, buy a home and start a family.

“I get excited about being a PRCC student,” said McDonnell. “I know how much our instructors care about our success, and they will do everything in their power to help us. 

“From my internship experience, I have learned and improved my time experience, communication and teamwork skills.”

Deloris Butler, PRCC WIN Case Manager, believes these internships are a large plus for PRCC students.

“This internship program gives students the opportunity to practice their skills in a real-world environment, build their professional network, and connect with prospective employers,” she said. 

“These internships offer critical skills that contribute to the success of our graduates,” said Dr. James David Collum, Dean of Career and Technical Education at the Forrest County Center. “No lab or classroom can fully emulate the experience of participating in an internship.” 

The PRCC WIOA Internship program is funded by a grant from the Southern Mississippi Planning and Development District (SMPDD). Interns are selected by instructors and paid through the grant.

If your organization is interested in participating in the PRCC Internship program, please contact Deloris Butler at 601-584-1946 for more information.