Arkansas two-year colleges get $14.7 million | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Arkansas two-year colleges get $14.7 million

Posted By on Tue, Sep 27, 2011 at 11:24 AM

click to enlarge 1317141325-hucker.jpg

The U.S. Labor Department has granted $14.7 million to Arkansas's two-year colleges to speed up degree and certificate completion and better tailor training to job needs. The idea is to create more people ready for high-skill, higher-wage jobs. A complete news release follows on the jump.

This is also a good opportunity to link to a column today by Joe Nocera in the New York Times on ways in which the U.S. has competed successfully for manufacturing jobs with efficient plants full of robotics. He visited a North Carolina plant stocked with machinists trained by local community colleges. In higher skill jobs, we can compete with China, particularly when you consider shipping costs and other factors. Downside: The huge investments by cities and states in corporate welfare ($28,000 per worker at a Caterpillar plant), not to mention significant private investment, don't produce nearly as many jobs as old-fashioned manufacturing once produced. This doesn't make the jobs a bad thing, but it illustrates the long road of strengthening a manufacturing base.

NEWS RELEASE

Officials announced Tuesday the state’s two-year colleges have received a $14.7 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to restructure higher education and target training to meet specific industry needs, strengthen technology-enabled learning, and allow students and workers more flexibility in scheduling classes.

“The project’s goal is to accelerate certificate and degree completions by 15 percent by restructuring nearly 150 programs over the next three years,” said Dr. Ed Franklin, executive director of the Arkansas Association of Two Year Colleges (AATYC).

The Path to Accelerated Completion and Employment (PACE) Initiative will be a collaborative effort between all of the state’s 22 two-year colleges to reduce remediation and increase degree production, with Northwest Arkansas Community College (NWACC) leading the consortium. The program is coordinated through AATYC in partnership with the Arkansas Department of Higher Education (ADHE), all of which worked together to receive the grant funding. Support for development of the initiative was provided by Complete College America and the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation.

“This is a tremendous day for NWACC and all two-year colleges in Arkansas,” Dr. Becky Paneitz, NWACC president, said, “and more specifically for the students we serve. They will benefit from a program specifically designed to break down barriers they may have toward receiving the degrees or training they need to perform jobs in our state’s largest career-growth areas.”

Top education and government officials have clearly defined goals to change remedial education, increase retention and double the number of degree holders in the state by 2025.

“By redesigning classes and schedules to help working students balance jobs and college,” said Shane Broadway, ADHE interim director, “we hope to significantly boost student success and dramatically increase the number of college graduates in the state. These dollars will enable our two-year colleges, employers and other economic development partners to create a workforce that is prepared for careers in high-wage, high-skills fields such as advanced manufacturing and health care.”

Specific strategies for redesigning 42 associate’s degree and 104 certificate programs include improving developmental education, streamlining certificate and degree pathways, reducing time-to-completion and credit-to-completion, enhancing support technology and systems, and overhauling student advisement to increase job placement.

“Baxter Regional Medical Center and ASU Mountain Home have been partners in training for many years,” said Ron Peterson, CEO of Baxter Regional Medical Center, “and we look forward to this exciting new opportunity to fulfill the healthcare workforce needs in our community.”

As part of the grant process, higher education officials reached out to business and industry to ensure jobs would be available to workers who completed training at the state’s two-year colleges. Industry partners include North Arkansas Regional Medical Center, L’Oreal USA, Caterpillar, Wabash Wood Products, Eaton Corporation-El Dorado Chemical; Superior Industries International Arkansas, Firestone Building Products, Pace Industries, Baxter Regional Medical, Baptist Health, Tyson Foods Inc., CertainTeed Gypsum, South Mississippi County Hospital, Great River Medical Center and Arkansas Children’s Hospital.

Representatives of the Congressional delegation were on hand for the announcement, along with several other local government leaders.

Tags: , , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Comments

Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • IHOP coming down, but .....

    I always scan the Little Rock City Board for items of interest this week and this one caught my eye: A zoning measure required by a proposal to tear down the IHOP at Markham and University.
    • Apr 30, 2016
  • Latest Obamacare repeal bill would hit Arkansas treasury hard

    The latest effort to undo Obamacare, the Graham-Cassidy legislation, would shift federal support for health coverage to a block grant system to the states. Bad news for Arkansas.
    • Sep 18, 2017
  • Kenneth Starr: A comment from Betsey Wright

    Betsey Wright, former President Bill Clinton's chief of staff when he was Arkansas governor, responds bitterly to a New York Times article today quoting Whitewater Prosecutor Kenneth Starr's warm words about Clinton. She can't forget the lives Starr ruined in Arkansas.
    • May 24, 2016

Most Shared

  • Conflicts of interest in the legislatures

    The Center for Public Integrity and the Associated Press collaborated for a project aimed at highlighting state legislators whose lawmaking might be affected by private business interests.
  • Industrial hemp pilot program coming soon to Arkansas

    One of the booths at this week's Ark-La-Tex Medical Cannabis Expo was hosted by the Arkansas Hemp Association, a trade group founded to promote and expand non-intoxicating industrial hemp as an agricultural crop in the state. AHA Vice President Jeremy Fisher said the first licenses to grow experimental plots of hemp in the state should be issued by the Arkansas State Plant Board next spring.
  • Cats and dogs

    I've always been leery of people who dislike animals. To my wife and me, a house without dog hair in the corners and a cat perched on the windowsill is as barren as a highway rest stop. We're down to three dogs and two cats, the smallest menagerie we've had for years.

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Rep. Bob Ballinger wants to keep fighting over birth certificates

    • Bob is a bigot and hater. Those are his birth parents.

    • on December 10, 2017
  • Re: Open line

    • Cato, there is a reason that the bill of a farmer's cap is bent to…

    • on December 10, 2017
  • Re: Open line

    • John Oliver deserved winning the 2016 and 2017 Emmy Award for Outstanding Variety Talk Series…

    • on December 10, 2017

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation