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Holmes student lands job offer immediately following two-day workshop

Holmes Community College hosted a free two-day Fiber Optic Fusion Splicing Certificate Course May 22-23 in the McGowan Workforce Training Center on the Ridgeland Campus. This course was in collaboration with Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Sumitomo Electric, and it allowed those who complete it to work as fusion splicing technicians who run fiber optic cables. Upon completion of the course, Holmes hosted a certificate ceremony, reception and employer networking event on May 23. Ridgeland Campus student Martez L. Rivers of Camden was offered a job on the spot with Sumitomo Electric Lightwave in Silicon Valley, California, during the reception.

The son of Martha Rivers, he is a graduate of Velma Jackson High School. This past year, Rivers completed his first year working toward an Associate of Applied Science degree in computer networking at Holmes. During this time, he was on the President’s List in the fall and the Dean’s List in the spring for his academic achievement. In his free time, Rivers enjoys reading, boat cruising and repairing electronic devices. He also enjoys spending time researching and learning new things, as well.

“Martez Rivers caught my attention because he had an amazingly good attitude and was quick to pick up the concepts,” said Dwayne Holst, who works in data center optical communications research at Sumitomo Electric Lightwave. “Not only did he work hard, he assisted friends, which showed me that he had good interpersonal skills. Truly he was one of the best students I’ve taught over the years.

“To be honest, I could see Rivers working on his own in six months,” Holst said. “We trained about 30 and I recommended a handful of them who I worked with that had good aptitude for it and leadership skills. Rivers was first that got an offer.”

Steppen Beecher, the CEO of Lightwave Construction, a nationwide contractor, was present at the reception following the certificate ceremony. Holst told him, “If ya’ll are hiring right now, he (Rivers) is young, has a good attitude, wants to work and is willing to travel.”

Lightwave Construction set it up right away, and the company is making plans to fly Rivers to California. There, he will begin training and have the opportunity to decide if he would like to accept the offer and move to Silicon Valley.

“I’m proud of Martez for completing the awesome training from Sumitomo and AWS,” said computer networking instructor Michael Pawlik. “I‘m excited to hear that Martez was hired on the spot. He will do great with this opportunity.”


IN THIS PHOTO: Pictured are (left to right) Pat Stitcher, fusion splicing instructor; Martez Rivers, Holmes fusion splicing student; Nick Lee-Romagnolo, program manager, workforce and economic development for Amazon Web Services and Holmes Director of Marketing and Recruiting Dr. Bronwyn Martin.

Holmes Community College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion,
national origin, sex, age, disability or genetic information in its educational programs and activities,
employment practices, or admissions processes. The following administrators have been designated to handle
inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies of Holmes Community College:

Inquiries regarding compliance with Title VI, ADEA, and Title IX are coordinated by the Vice President for
Compliance and Institutional Research, Henry B. McClellan Administration Building, Post Office Box 369,
Goodman, MS 39079, Phone: 662-472-9429,

Inquiries regarding compliance with Section 504 and ADA are coordinated by the Disability Student Services
Coordinator, M.R. Thorne Vocational-Technical Building, Room 110, Post Office Box 369, Goodman, MS 39079,
Phone: 662-472-9088,
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