The Communiversity: Transforming Manufacturing in Mississippi

The Communiversity at East Mississippi Community College (EMCC) Center for Manufacturing Technology Excellence 2.0, is a state-of-the-art workforce training center looking to produce trained workers for some of the world’s most technically advanced manufacturers. ARC has invested $10.7 million in the 135,000-square-foot facility that delivers training and education to support the expanding automotive supplier, aerospace, and advantaged manufacturing industries which is driving job growth in Mississippi’s Golden Triangle. The new facility features laboratory space; 21 high-bay training and education spaces; incubator bays for new start-ups; equipment and machinery required to demonstrate an actual production area; technology-appropriate classrooms, learning laboratories; and meeting and administrative space. Moreover, the facility has the flexibility and capacity to adapt equipment and programs to meet the evolving workforce needs of local employers.

In 2019, a dedication ceremony took place for the $42 million facility as one of the most anticipated training and workforce development projects in Mississippi. The impact of the facility on the manufacturing industry and local economy spans over 21 counties in the state. Local leaders, including Mississippi Republican Lieutenant Governor and gubernatorial candidate Tate Reeves, ARC Federal Co-Chairman Tim Thomas, Lowndes County Board of Supervisors President Harry Sanders and Communiversity Advisory Board Chairman Ben Machen attended the ceremony to discuss Mississippi’s ability to become more competitive in its manufacturing and technical education sectors.

Precision Manufacturing and Machining is among the many programs offered at the Communiversity, and teaches students to work with lathes, mills, shapers, and milling machines, among other training materials in order to become highly skilled machinists — a highly in-demand and high-paying field. Like the Machining program, the Electro-Mechanical (Mechatronics) program also prepares students for high-paying jobs. Students enrolled in Mechatronics learn the same fundamentals as those in Industrial Maintenance, all of whom typically find work troubleshooting and repairing equipment used in advanced manufacturing with starting pay being an upwards of $45,000.