A workforce development event designed to give educators a deeper understanding of the demand for skilled employees is scheduled in Springdale.
The Springdale Chamber of Commerce will hold its 4th annual Academy for Career Educators in Springdale (ACES) Conference this week at the Home2 Suites at 1519 S. 48th St. The event is Wednesday through Friday (June 5-7) from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Springdale teachers, counselors and administrators will swap their classroom this week for the real world experience of careers in healthcare, manufacturing, skilled trades and other fields.
Approximately 45 educators will take part in a variety of sessions including industry tours, panel discussions and networking with local employers. Topics covered at ACES will include ways to align technical education programs to ensure they meet the skill needs of area employers.
“Jobs in high demand fields, such as healthcare, IT and construction are going unfilled as companies struggle to find people with the skills they need,” said chamber president Perry Webb. “A recent survey by the chamber found 84% of local employers have trouble finding qualified applicants. ACES fills the communications gap between industry and education so teachers can better prepare students for future careers.”
Companies participating in ACES include sponsors Cargill, DC Sparks Construction, Flintco, George’s Inc., Kimbel Mechanical Systems, Northwest Technical Institute, Pace Industries, Pratt Whitney, PSD Inc., Rockline Industries, South Coast Baking and Walmart.
The ACES conference was recognized with the 2018 Trendsetter City Award for Workforce Development. The event is just one example of the Springdale chamber’s workforce development efforts. The chamber hosts the NWA Workforce Summit each year, the only regional event dedicated to workforce issues, and produces career guides used in local school districts to help students and their parents learn more about skilled careers.
Other efforts include advocating at the state level for workforce development programs and policy, commissioning research to identify high-demand occupations and redesign the way workforce education and training are delivered.