RESTORE Act Funding to Support Workforce Development in Hancock County

U.S. Senators Roger Wicker, R-Miss., and Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Miss., and Representative Steven Palazzo, R-Miss., today celebrated the award of $6,670,007 to the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) to complete infrastructure work at the Pearl River Community College (PRCC) Phil Bryant Aviation and Aerospace Academy in Kiln. The funds are being made available as part of the Resources and Ecosystems Sustainability, Tourist Opportunities, and Revived Economies of the Gulf Coast States Act of 2012 (RESTORE Act), which provides funding for Gulf Coast states affected by the Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill.

“With world-class facilities like Stennis Space Center and a talented workforce, Hancock County has become a hub for Mississippi’s growing aerospace and aviation industries,” Wicker said. “The PRCC Aviation and Aerospace Academy will help connect students to rewarding careers and attract new employers to South Mississippi.”

“The RESTORE Act was enacted after a job-killing environmental disaster, so it is fitting that funding from this law is being directed to improving job training skills for Mississippians.  It’s commendable that the completion of this workforce center will build on the Pearl River Community College’s capacity to support workers and industry,” Hyde-Smith said.

“Pearl River Community College is in a great position to mold future leaders that will play a role in cultivating Mississippi’s aerospace and aviation industries. This premier facility will soon allow Mississippi’s sharpest minds to receive a world-class education and support the growing 21st-century workforce, all here in South Mississippi,” Palazzo said.

Officials broke ground for the new workforce development center in December. It will consist of an academic building on Roscoe-Turner Road in Kiln and a hangar located at the adjacent Stennis Airport. PRCC will use the center to implement new workforce training programs that will help match students to local employers.

PRCC has secured an additional grant of $2,000,000 through the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration (EDA) for a portion of the project construction costs, bringing the total budget for this phase of construction to $8,670,007.