JACKSON — Today, Governor Tate Reeves announced that the U.S. Department of the Treasury has approved a RESTORE Act grant award of $6.67 million to support Pearl River Community College’s (PRCC) workforce training in Hancock County.

These recently approved funds and other leveraged funds will be used for the construction of the PRCC workforce training center, which is strategically located adjacent to Stennis International Airport and Hancock County High School.  The grant is administered by the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ).

“This is a great day for Pearl River Community College and the Mississippi Gulf Coast,” said Governor Tate Reeves. “We’re grateful for President Trump and Treasury Secretary Mnuchin’s ongoing support of Mississippi’s mission to expand our workforce training capabilities to keep up with changing demand in our state and economy. This new center will play a critical role in continuing to enhance our state’s ability to compete on the national and global stage and create more opportunities for our people to thrive.”

The new center will provide PRCC the necessary ability in Hancock County to deliver technical skills training to students to support existing industry workforce needs and to meet the requirements of future growth sectors, such as the aviation and aerospace industry.

“An important component of an improved economy for the Gulf Coast is workforce training so residents can find better employment and opportunities,” said Chris Wells, MDEQ Interim Executive Director. “The anticipated need for a skilled workforce in the aviation and aerospace industry fits well with the existing facilities in the area and Pearl River Community College’s mission in Hancock County.”

“It is a historic day for Pearl River Community College, Hancock County, and our surrounding communities. We extend our sincere gratitude to our local, state and federal officials who have provided overwhelming support for this project,” said Dr. Adam Breerwood, PRCC President. “Pearl River Community College is committed to expanding the reach of higher education and workforce development opportunities. We have been preparing and anxiously awaiting the final approval needed to begin construction. Governor Reeves’ announcement puts us one step closer to providing a state of the art facility that will serve as an economic engine for the Gulf South Region.”

These funds are part of the RESTORE Act’s Direct Component or “Bucket 1.” In the RESTORE Act, 35 percent of the total funds are reserved for Bucket 1 projects and are divided equally among the five Gulf Coast states for ecological and economic restoration. Eligible activities include: restoration and protection of natural resources; mitigation of damage to natural resources; workforce development and job creation; improvements to state parks; infrastructure projects, including ports; coastal flood protection; and promotion of tourism and Gulf seafood.

More information about Mississippi’s restoration efforts can be found at restore.ms.