WEST POINT, Miss. (WTVA) -- When large industrial businesses look at prospective sites, one of the factors that determines where industry goes is the workforce.
The West Point School District is doing all it can to make sure a workforce is ready should large industry be willing to start in Clay County.
There are around 300 students at West Point High School in eight programs at the Career and Technology Center who can one day be a part of a workforce for an industrial company.
The students said now is as good as time as any to be prepared when a workforce is needed.
"Engineering is used everywhere. No matter what you go into, there's always engineers," said Andy Misenholder, student. "So hopefully, that can land you a job anywhere no matter what you're doing."
"Helps you know what to do, and it helps you when you go out there to actually build stuff and learn more about it," added Dantearja Haskins, student.
In an effort to better meet the needs of the curriculum, students in the center are using equipment that could be used in their first manufacturing job.
"We don't have a lot of equipment here that people would think of as high school equipment," added Patrick Ray, the school district's vocational director, "things that you would teach kids to use. We have equipment that is used in industries. When they leave us, they're prepared to go straight into the factory setting, and they are familiar with the equipment they will see there."
No one knows when a major industrial employer will locate in Clay County. Still, the director said as each year passes, more able minds and hands are ready.
"Whatever industry is looking for, we want to partner with them, maybe do training for them," added Ray. "We want to produce students who are ready when they leave here to go straight to that new industry."