Arkansas Tech University of Russellville has opened a $1.3 million career center on the Paris High School campus.
The Tyson Foods Logan County Career Center allows ATU-Ozark Campus to provide courses in automation technology and allied health to both high school students and adult learners, according to a press release from ATU. It will serve as an Arkansas Tech Career Center satellite location in Paris, Ark.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson attended a grand opening celebration for the center on Monday (Jan. 22).
“I’m excited about the future of Arkansas, where we are and where we’re going,” Hutchinson said at the ceremony, according to a press release. “This career center is a big part of it because of the partnership that is being created and the investment of the community in this important endeavor to give our children the best chance in the future.”
Tyson Foods of Springdale provided a $266,600 grant to help build the center, and the Arkansas Department of Higher Education awarded a $644,034 regional workforce grant in order to pay for equipment needed for the program, according to ATU.
“ATU is committed to workforce education,” Robin E. Bowen, ATU president, said in the release. “It is a vision championed by our governor, Asa Hutchinson. We appreciate Gov. Hutchinson’s leadership on this important topic, and Arkansas Tech University will continue to be a ready and able partner in providing relevant academic programming to serve our communities.
“It is our hope, as a university, that the Tyson Foods Logan County Career Center will serve as a model for Arkansas. We hope that it exemplifies the best in making higher education accessible for every Arkansan, by utilizing a combination of private and public support,” Bowen said.
The Tyson Career Center enables access to credit-bearing credential, certificate and degree attainments offered through ATU-Ozark Campus, according to the school. The classes will provide high school students with concurrent college credit at no charge. Adult learners will also have the opportunity to take both GED coursework and industry training classes as a result of the new facility, according to ATU.
There are close to 60 students enrolled through the center. It now serves high school students from Scranton, Magazine and Paris, but there are plans to expand to additional school districts, according to ATU.
“The establishment of the Tyson Foods Logan County Career Center will provide students and employers with educational access to relevant industry training in the high demand fields of automation and allied health,” Bruce Sikes, chancellor of ATU-Ozark Campus, said in the release. “Arkansas Tech University is committed to providing the communities it serves with educational programming in support of economic initiatives.”