WASHINGTON D.C. - U.S. Senator Mark Pryor today announced that eight community colleges in Arkansas will receive a total of $10.5 million to expand education and career training programs for high-skill fields, such as advanced manufacturing, transportation, healthcare, and science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). This funding comes from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) Grant Program, which was authorized by the stimulus bill.
“If we want to stay competitive in today’s global economy, we need to equip our students with the needed skills, degrees, and training,” Pryor said. “Thanks to this funding, our community colleges now have the resources they need to help their students obtain high-wage, high-skill jobs in our nation’s fastest-growing industries. This is a win-win for Arkansas students and businesses.”
The Southwest Arkansas Community College Consortium, which includes seven Arkansas schools, will receive a total of $8,419,390 to help address gaps in services currently provided to businesses, create systems to ensure quick responses to business needs, and establish new regional collaborations. The schools receiving funding are as follows:
• College of the Ouachitas, Malvern: $1,801,912
• Cossatot Community College of the University of Arkansas, De Queen: $450,000
• National Park Community College, Hot Springs: $1,003,800
• Rich Mountain Community College, Mena: $300,000
• South Arkansas Community College, El Dorado: $3,904,256
• Southern Arkansas University Tech, Camden: $417,800
• University of Arkansas Community College at Hope: $541,622
"This DOL grant will enable the community colleges of southwest Arkansas to train a high quality and educated workforce for STEM positions in manufacturing industries in Arkansas,” said Dr. Barbara Jones, President, South Arkansas Community College. "For South Arkansas Community College, this grant will provide the much needed resources to train a skilled workforce for the chemical, petroleum and pulp and paper industries in our region. We are so grateful for this opportunity."
Mid-South Community College in West Memphis, which is part of the Mississippi River Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics Consortium, will receive $2,000,000 to help match Arkansas workers with jobs in commerce.