Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Davis, James E.

Committee Member

King, Stephanie B.

Committee Member

Wiseman, William M.

Committee Member

Stonecypher, Wayne

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Community College Leadership

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Education


Department of Leadership and Foundations


The economic changes that have occurred in this country over the course of this past decade have had a grave impact on manufacturing workers, which has forced many of these workers to transition into new career fields. As workers are faced with having to start new career paths, the community college has served as a hub of information and a source of inspiration to begin new careers. Through programs such as the federal Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program, these dislocated workers are able to acquire a new skill or trade. A qualitative study will investigate how dislocated workers make a successful transition from community college to a new career field. An examination will also be conducted, observing the positive transition that these workers have experienced since becoming unemployed. Due to the closures of manufacturing facilities, there are thousands of people who are now considered to be dislocated. Advances in technology and global trading have been the culprits in this shifting of the workforce; due to this, there has been an economic downturn in the areas affected by these plant closures. The federal and state governments have allocated resources to ensure that the dislocated workforce is retrained and educated through local community colleges in order to diversify and upgrade the workforce. The Trade Readjustment Act (TRA), which is a federal law that allows for displaced workers to be retrained are processed through job centers, which assists those workers who are unemployed through no fault of their own. The basic qualifications for unemployment benefits are to be unemployed through no fault of one’s own and to be able and available for work. The aforementioned qualifications are suited to those individuals who have had the unfortunate experience of being laid off from a manufacturing plant. The local job center offices work closely with other state agencies and local community colleges. Community colleges act as a vehicle for the training, and the job center’s objective is to then assist the worker, not only with its benefits and other programs, but also to assist the worker in becoming reemployed once they have been successfully retrained.