Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College signed on to an agreement with other Mississippi and Texas colleges to train students for careers in the oil and gas industry, officials said.
MGCCC President Mary Graham signed the memorandum of understanding with Houston Community College, San Jacinto Community College and Jones County Junior College.
The schools will collaborate to provide entry-level training for those going into the oil and gas industries.
"As part of the consortium, MGCCC will be able to provide the best industry training and resources for residents of South Mississippi in an industry that provides excellent pay and career opportunity," Graham said.
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There are more than 90,000 oil and gas industry jobs in Mississippi, either directly or indirectly. Companies outside the state also employ many Mississippians.
The average oil and gas salary in Mississippi is $45,500 annually -- higher than the state average income -- and the average annual salary in oil and gas exploration and production is more than $80,000.
The four community colleges will collaborate on instructional material, laboratory specifications, workshops, seminars, professional development, student recruitment and retention, career placement, internship programs and competitions. An advisory council will advise the schools on workforce needs of the industry and current trends.
The memorandum of understanding will be in effect through Feb. 1, 2021.