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Automation training lab puts Meridian on cutting edge

By By Lynette Wilson / staff writer
Aug. 9, 2002
Meridian Community College President Scott Elliott said Thursday a new automation training lab will help prepare people to operate computer controlled systems for large businesses.
He and other economic development leaders said it also will help lure cutting-edge industry to the East Mississippi area.
MCC gave the public it's first look at the new automation training lab on Thursday.
Dan Talley, advanced skills training coordinator at MCC's Webb Center, said the project was developed with the state Board for Community and Junior Colleges.
The board provided the funds for the development and purchase of the training equipment. Talley said a local manufacturer he declined to identify had a specific training need and the project took off.
The equipment is portable. It can be customized and programmed to perform more than 1,000 operations using a digital, electronic system that follows a software program.
Students can be trained for such things as monitoring major computer systems that control temperatures at pharmaceutical companies or the flow of fluids at petroleum companies.
Wade Jones, president of the East Mississippi Business Development Corp., said that "our interest is to retain and attract new businesses through manufacturing."
Jones said MCC offers EMBDC a competitive advantage when they meet with prospective companies.