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Center for Mathematics and Science Education
The University of Mississippi

Mississippi Forge Forward

The Mississippi Forge Forward initiative is a grant funded by the U.S. Department of Defense Office of Local Defense Community Cooperation and provides an opportunity for collaboration between the Haley Barbour Center for Manufacturing Excellence and the Center for Mathematics and Science Education both located on the University of Mississippi campus. This program provides a variety of opportunities for engagement for industry representatives, students, and educators.

Mississippi Forge Forward Conference: Workforce Development and Education for the MS Defense Industry

Due to COVID-19 the Fall 2021 convening has been cancelled.

The MS Forge Forward conference aims to bring together representatives from the defense industry, manufacturing, government, and education for a unique collaborative opportunity. This two-day conference will engage industry and education partners in critical conversations around preparing the Mississippi workforce to meet the needs of the 21st Century defense industry.

Mississippi Forge Forward Summer Experiences

Two summer programs will be offered in 2022 using the IGNITE: Mastering Manufacturing curriculum.

The Student Summer Experience will be offered to “work-eligible” students who are rising (2022-2023) high school juniors and seniors and college freshmen and sophomores. Students will get hands-on experience while learning how cutting-edge technology provides a new pathway for manufacturing. 

The Educator Summer Experience is designed to support high school teachers, college instructors, and guidance counselors in their efforts to share career opportunities with students. This professional development summer institute will focus on providing information about the manufacturing industry to enable a variety of educators to prepare the next generation of the manufacturing workforce for the state of Mississippi. Continuing Education Units (CEUs) will be available to educators, if needed.

2022 Student Summer Experience

The Mississippi Forge Forward Summer Experience for students is open to rising (2022-2023) high school juniors and seniors, as well as rising college freshmen and sophomores.

Application will open Fall 2021

2022 Educator Summer Experience

The Mississippi Forge Forward Summer Experience for educators is a valuable tool that teachers, counselors, and instructors may use to engage with students and teach them about career opportunities in the defense manufacturing industry. 

Registration opens Fall 2021


This program is sponsored in part by a grant from the Department of Defense Office of Local Defense Community Cooperation and the Haley Barbour Center for Manufacturing Excellence.