November 16, 2022

East Central Community College in Decatur has announced a new partnership with Raytheon Intelligence & Space, a Raytheon Technologies business, located in Forest, in a joint effort to fill touch-labor manufacturing and provide members of the community with technical training. 

Raytheon Intelligence & Space, a business that employs about 1,000 Mississippians, is a leader in the aerospace and defense industry. Their paid, three-year manufacturing apprenticeship program for electronic technicians is registered with the U.S. Department of Labor and will enable students enrolled at East Central to earn electronics technician credentials while gaining on-the-job work experience and mentorship. RI&S anticipates that more than 100 individuals will be enrolled in the program within the first five years. 

East Central’s provisional training will help fill the need for highly skilled workers. The goal is to transition apprenticeship program graduates to full-time RI&S employees. 

“Raytheon Intelligence & Space is a major asset in our community, and we are fortunate to have such a company located in our district,” said East Central President Dr. Brent Gregory. “We are excited to utilize our technical programs and experience to provide our students a fast track directly into the workforce, especially at a company with the success of RI&S.” 

The partnership looks to include a streamlined training program on East Central’s campus to provide students an opportunity to join the Raytheon Intelligence & Space team as quickly as possible, with competitive starting salary and benefits packages. 

“Manufacturing is at the heart of what we do,” said Jeff Place, vice president of Operations & Supply Chain at Raytheon Intelligence & Space. “This apprenticeship program will allow East Central students to create some of the most advanced technology in the world – providing unmatched capabilities to our men and women in uniform – and do it while continuing to pursue their education.” 

This registered apprenticeship status, which is administered by the Mississippi Department of Employment Security, is the first of its kind in East Central’s five-county district. 

The training will be open to students of diverse backgrounds as financial, logistical, and learner support for prospective students and participants will be a joint effort between the ECCC support services, Raytheon Intelligence & Space, and Accelerate Mississippi. 

More information about the program and opportunities to apply will be made available soon and can be found at