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Okra Works program seeking participants

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Most college students are looking for ways to help pay for college. Plenty of businesses need part-time help from able-bodied, college-aged people. That’s where the Okra Works program at Delta State is trying to bridge the gap between the two. 

Davlon Miller, director of Career Services at Delta State, has created a program that will connect students who need help to pay for school and businesses who need workers — the Okra Works Program. Currently, the program is in its pilot stage, and Miller is looking for both students and businesses to match up together.

“This is a program that allows students to work in a part-time situation and allows them to focus on their studies on campus,” Miller said. “We mimic it after the amount of tuition needed for a student.”

The student would essentially work for a company and the money earned would go directly to pay for their college.

“We balance it out and allow them to work for that employer for that amount of money,” he said. “But we know that it won’t always work out evenly so there is an option for the employer to give the student a scholarship to make up the difference.”

If tuition is $3,200 and if a student works 10 hours a week over a four-month period, the student would make about $1,700 or more. 

“If the student is in good standing and everything has gone well and according to plan, the employer will pay a ‘merit scholarship’ as well. It’s a good incentive for the student to do well,” he said.  

While it is in the pilot stage, Miller is searching for businesses to take part.

“I’ve been working on it for a while now and I’m looking to get it off the ground,” he said. “We can try our best to match up students with a business related to their major, but we would place students in businesses that have a need.”

Students can sign up on the career services web page and businesses need to contact Miller directly via email at careerservices@deltastate.edu or call him at (662) 846-4646 to take part in the program. Miller is actively searching and seeking both qualified students and businesses. The program will have students ready for businesses to hire.

“We do some screening up front when students apply to see what their need is and their skills are. Businesses don’t normally have time to pre-screen as we do,” Miller said. “We can give them a cross section of students that have applied.”

Okra Works — a program that will benefit both students and businesses.