Black River Technical College was awarded a $598,000 Regional Workforce Grant for Industrial Computing technology. This grant will be used to buy software and equipment for existing programs and may potentially lead to a new technical program.
Dr. Brad Baine, Vice President for Academic Affairs, said the grant will be a key element aiding workforce development in Northeast Arkansas.
“Black River Technical College is very grateful to be awarded this substantial grant funding. In conversations with local industry partners and economic development groups, BRTC has identified that a substantial need exists for an Industrial Computing program in this area of the state and region,” he said.
BRTC is collaborating with Aaron Hale, President of Fidus Global located in Paragould, to determine local industry needs which will enable BRTC to develop curriculum to properly train students to enter the workforce.
“Industrial Computing has become the standard in manufacturing processes, both regionally and nationwide. However, the provision for formal education in Industrial Computing has not kept pace with these technological developments, and local industries are struggling to identify trained individuals qualified to meet their employment needs,” Baine said.
“Receiving this sizable grant will enable BRTC to enhance existing technical programs and provide the highest quality training for students and industry employees. These funds will improve current program equipment, expand the ability to develop new technical certificates and degrees in the industrial computing profession, and will allow BRTC to be a key contributor in resolving this workforce need. The training will ensure that the level of manufacturing production will remain steady and meet the demands of consumers,” he added.