College training program survives Legislature’s snub

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A bill proposing income tax credit for contributions to certain nonprofit organizations to support the Mississippi Integrated Basic Educational and Skills Training Program, House Bill 1615, died in the Senate Finance Committee Tuesday.

“It would’ve been an alternative funding,” said Kell Smith, Mississippi Community College Board spokesman.

The denial of the tax credit will not threaten the current operations of the program, said Smith. It will continue to operate on a $6 million grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, which expires June 30, 2018.

Whether to pursue a similar bill in the 2018 legislative session is a decision for the 15 community college presidents to make, said Smith.

Students who finish the program receive a high school equivalency diploma and a career readiness certificate and they must complete a minimum 20 contact hours of employability/life skills training and work-based learning opportunities.