Executive Director - MMA-MEP
Vicksburg native Sandy Crist started her collegiate journey at Hinds Community College and graduated with a BA in Education and Master of Administration from Mississippi College. Staying close to her roots, Sandy’s career as an educator began in the high school in Vicksburg, but in 1995, she joined Hinds Community College as a Basic Skills/Workforce Specialist where she developed training programs for leadership management, Lean Manufacturing – 5S, OSHA Health and Safety, and provided consultation services to business and industry.
It was during this time her knowledge and passion for workforce training and consulting grew, so in 2005, Sandy started her own training and consulting company called Total Training Solutions. This endeavor allowed Sandy to work with individual companies and corporations in Mississippi, as well as other states, providing compliance training, developing and updating Standard Operating Procedures for industry, and leadership management training.
Believing her experience and knowledge would be an asset in higher education, specifically adult learners seeking a high school equivalency diploma, Sandy was hired as a Program Specialist for Adult Education with the Mississippi Community College Board in 2012. Not long after, in 2015, she was promoted to State Director for Adult Education and High School Equivalency.
As State Director, Sandy was afforded many opportunities to be a voice for adult education and how vital its role is in bridging the gap in Mississippi’s workforce needs. From working with the State Workforce Investment Board, MS Department of Employment Security, and other Core Partners, Sandy was instrumental in the development of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity, Mississippi WIOA Combined State Plan.
Under her leadership, the Adult Education Program implemented federal changes and transformed adult education in Mississippi. Her reputation nationally allowed peers to elect her to serve on the Board of Directors for the National Association of State Directors of Adult Education, which provides leadership, guidance, and training for all 50 states.
With her years of experience in workforce development, training, and adult education, it was natural for her to be named the Assistant Executive Director for Workforce, Career-Technical and Adult Education at MCCB in 2020, again in a unique leadership role providing oversight for these divisions while supporting Mississippi’s community college system.
As the Executive Director of the MMA Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP), Sandy will be responsible for the overall operations of the MEP Cooperative Agreement for National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) from the U.S. Department of Commerce. She will also be tasked with developing, communicating, and implementing strategies that assist the ability of manufacturers to grow and prosper in an ever-changing economic landscape.