Blake Robertson, president of Northwest Technical Institute (NWTI) in Springdale, announced his retirement from the technical school, effective June 2020.
“I will be 70 years old and worked in public service for 34 years,” Robertson said. “I am anxious to start a second chapter in my life. I want to dedicate more time to Kiwanis Club of Springdale and work with our accreditation organization, Council on Occupational Education, to assist schools to maintain their accreditation.”
Robertson will turn 70 in May. A timeline to find his replacement has yet to be determined, but the NWTI board is gathering data for the open position. If asked by the board, Robertson said he would help to identify his replacement.
“I love NWTI and will assist to find the best fit,” he said.
Robertson has served as president of NWTI since June 2014. He previously was director of adult education at College of the Ouachitas in Malvern.
Before he retires from his position as president, Robertson said NWTI will open two new buildings on campus: the welding center and the ammonia refrigeration center. The welding center is expected to double or triple the school’s post-secondary enrollment. Robertson said a bequest allowed for the welding center, and the school is recognized nationally for its ammonia refrigeration program. Robertson gave credit to Gov. Asa Hutchinson and Springdale-based meat giant Tyson Foods Inc. for the new ammonia refrigeration center.
Robertson also noted the school’s curriculum has been brought up to date in all occupational pathways, and its advisory committees comprise of industry partners.
“I am hoping to share with the board my work to make our campus energy efficient by single metering campus and putting LED lights throughout campus,” he said.