Justin Smith of Springdale has been named as the new chief business and community outreach officer at Arkansas Tech University-Ozark Campus.
Smith will develop and maintain educational partnerships through an assortment of agencies, organizations and communities. He will also assist and provide customized educational training specific to the needs of the business and industry community as well as manage grant solicitations and processes and engage alumni support.
“It’s great to be part of an institution that is proactive in seeking out what employers will need in the future while at the same time providing students with offerings leading to well-paying, available jobs,” Smith said.
ATU-Ozark Chancellor Bruce Sikes said Smith is valued throughout the state for his efforts in economic development.
“Smith will assist in closing the loop of entry level training with the specialized needs of our River Valley industries,” Sikes said. “Not only are we committed to entry level training, but we have an obligation to support industry and its training needs.”
Most recently, Smith served as the statewide logistics sector manager and northwest Arkansas project manager for the Arkansas Economic Development Commission. He has collaborated with industry and local economic developers to assist on projects better linking transportation and logistics to economic development.
Partnerships in which Smith has been involved include the University of Arkansas Supply Chain Center, the Arkansas Department of Higher Education, the Local Railroads of Arkansas Association, the Arkansas Highway Department, the National Center for Supply Chain Technology Education and the Arkansas Department of Career Education (ADCE).
Smith, who holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Arkansas, has also worked with the ADCE and Northwest Arkansas Educational Service Cooperative to create forums focusing on secondary education. The focus of the forums is to bring together schools and logistics industry leaders in an effort to attract students into supply chain careers.
“Employer needs will continue to evolve as technology increases,” Smith said. “Being able to customize training and provide it across multiple sectors is something Arkansas Tech-Ozark has been very good at, and I look forward to continuing that process.”