Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Davis, E. James

Committee Member

Mathews, Jerry

Committee Member

Stonecypher, Wayne

Committee Member

Wiseman, M. William

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Community College Leadership

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Education


Department of Leadership and Foundations


In Mississippi, the bulk of the responsibility to conduct workforce training falls on the community colleges. With the recent trends of large industry relocating overseas, layoffs, and plant closures, these challenges have become prevalent in rural America. Through the development and delivery of workforce programs to local business and industry, community colleges have made substantial contributions to the economic and community development of communities across the nation. The gap between well-paying jobs and unemployed, undereducated workers continues to be a problem. In order to prepare the supply of the unemployed/underemployed and to meet industry's demand, workforce and education systems need to be organized around long-term integrated education, training, and work that is targeted to high-wage, high-demand employment. The purpose of this study was to investigate the nature of workforce education and training needs of business and industry that had participated or were participating in workforce training with the college. This study was designed to look for gaps in workforce training by analyzing the current and future training needs of local business and industry. Questions to be answered by this study are as follows: a) How do business and industry in the college’s district currently utilize the workforce training and development services? b) What are the future workforce training needs of local business and industry in the college’s district? c) What are the gaps between the workforce training provided by the college and business and industry needs? Results from this study may provide suggestions to enhance and improve the training provided by the college’s workforce department to their local business and industry. This study will provide the college with information that will be valuable in improving, implementing, and developing successful training and partnerships.