State Chamber Program Encouraging Future Manufacturers

by Steve Brawner ([email protected]) 74 views 

The Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce will host a Young Manufacturers Academy July 28 – August 1 at six community college campuses and at the Little Rock School District’s Metro Vocational Center.

Funded by a $15,000 grant from the Gene Haas Foundation, the Academy will serve students in grades 6-11 with an interest in manufacturing. About 600 are expected to attend.

The Academy will be the centerpiece program of Dream It. Do It. Arkansas, a program designed to address the state’s shortage of qualified workers by educating students, parents and educators on the need for career and technical training. Employers, the state’s education system, workforce development agencies, and economic developers are collaborating on the program.

The grant was spearheaded by Michael Garner, general manager of the Haas Factory Outlet in Little Rock. Haas Factory Outlets sell and service computer numerically controlled machines built by Haas Automation, the western world’s largest machine tool builder.

The Gene Haas Foundation, the personal foundation of the company’s founder, provides grants to organizations that point young people toward manufacturing careers. The foundation has granted more than $21.5 million to 900 organizations and schools since 2001.

In addition to the Metro Vocational Center, the Academy will be hosted at Pulaski Technical College in North Little Rock, Mid-South Community College in West Memphis, Southeast Arkansas College in Pine Bluff, South Arkansas Community College in El Dorado, Phillips County Community College of the University of Arkansas in Helena-West Helena, and College of the Ouachitas at Sheridan High School.