The State Chamber/Associated Industries of Arkansas is planning to launch two new websites to address workforce development needs in Arkansas.
“Intern in Arkansas” will match a student’s area of study with a business area of expertise through an online hub. According to the chamber, students will learn real-world functioning of a business. The site, interninarkansas.com, will be activated in mid-September.
“Internships play a pivotal role in a student’s success,” said Susie Marks, senior vice president of the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce. “The Intern in Arkansas site is being developed as an effort to retain Arkansas’s young talent in the state through internships that develop into permanent jobs. This is an effort aimed at connecting undergraduate and graduate students with existing opportunities in their chosen career field.”
Supporters to date of the “Intern in Arkansas” site include the Arkansas Department of Education, AEDC, UCA, Lyon College, Ouachita Baptist University, Clinton School of Public Service and Hendrix College.
The second site is “Dream It. Do It. Arkansas” which will launch in early October at DreamItDoItAR.com.
The State Chamber/AIA has partnered with the National Association of Manufacturing’s (NAM) Manufacturing Institute and will become one of 21 others states to launch a local site. The web site has a goal of educating young people, teachers and parents about jobs in manufacturing, according to the chamber. The site will also develop an advisory council to develop a plan to address skills gaps in Arkansas’ workforce.
“Dream It. Do It. Arkansas” is sponsored by Nucor and Rockline Industries in partnership with Bad Boy, Evraz Stratcor, Little Rock Tools and Prestolite Wire.
“Our plan with ‘Dream It. Do It. Arkansas’ is to develop collaboration between employers, our education system, our workforce development agencies and economic development organizations to address the critical shortage of qualified workers. ‘Dream It. Do It. Arkansas’ will also educate students, parents and educators on the importance of career and technical training needed to fill manufacturing jobs in order to build a competitive workforce for our state,” Marks said.
Part of the effort for the web site will tie into an upcoming focus on manufacturing in Arkansas. As part of a national effort, state business groups and Arkansas Manufacturing Solutions will host “Manufacturing Day” on Oct. 4.
Through grassroots initiatives, partnerships between schools and employers, and a web site – www.MFGDAY.com – an effort is being made to influence the perception of manufacturing careers.