JANS – Central Transportation Commissioner Willie Simmons returned to his alma mater, Alcorn State University (ASU), to engage with students and share his insights on career opportunities in the transportation field. The visit was billed as “A Day of Dialogue with Commissioner Willie Simmons.”
During his visit, Commissioner Simmons was joined by staff members Calola Williams, Laquisha Williams, Sir Jonathan Rucker, and the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) Human Resources Director Terrence Yarbrough. The team met with students, faculty, and staff to share their own experiences, emphasizing the power of education and the role it played in their careers.
“As a proud alum of ASU, I wanted to do my part to give back and nurture the next generation of leaders,” said Simmons. “These students are our future, and with so many opportunities in the transportation industry, from engineering and planning to maintenance and logistics, we felt like it was important to highlight the crucial role infrastructure plays in our state’s development.”
The Day of Dialogue visit included remarks from Commissioner Simmons and each staff member, and included an interactive Q&A session with students, encouraging them to ask questions and seek guidance. Commissioner Simmons offered advice, sharing of contact information, and even discussed potential internships and job opportunities within MDOT.
Simmons’ journey from a young student to the Central Mississippi Transportation Commissioner serves as a testament to the transformative power of education and determination. Through these inspiring and intimate discussions, he not only shared valuable insights about the transportation industry, but also demonstrated the importance of giving back to one’s community and alma mater.
“Our goal was to help these students to gain deeper insights into the intricacies of the transportation industry, as well as the practical steps they can take to build successful careers within it,” said Simmons. “Such personal connections are invaluable for students aspiring to enter the workforce. As these students embark on their own journeys, I hope today’s visit made them better equipped to explore the diverse career opportunities in transportation, innovate and contribute to the development of Mississippi’s infrastructure, all while making their alma mater proud.”
“Finally, I hope this kind of dialogue and sharing information about opportunities in Mississippi will lessen the brain drain we are currently experiencing with our best and brightest minds.”