Black River Technical College recently dedicated the Armory at BRTC in Piggott. The site will house career and technical certification opportunities for students in Piggott, Corning, Rector and the surrounding communities. Classes will begin in Fall 2023, specifically in welding, robotics automation, distribution and logistics.
“We transform lives and enhance the community we serve and we are thrilled to now be able to serve Clay County better than ever,” BRTC Director of Career, Technical, and Concurrent Education Darenda Kersey Kersey said.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson said that one of his main concerns during his time as governor has been growing the scope of educational access across the state. The growth BRTC will bring to Piggott will be exponential for years to come, he added.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for the people of Clay County,” Hutchinson said.
The Arkansas Department of Education Secretary Johnny Key and Dr. Ivy Pfeffer attended. The department provided a $350,000 grant to construct a welding lab classroom as well as buying equipment. The Arkansas Office of Skills Development represented by Stephanie Issacs at the dedication donated $127,000 for renovations of the armory and robotic/conveyor equipment. The city of Piggott donated labor and materials to install a three-phase transformer.
BRTC has partnered with Fidus Global, Greenbrier, and Hytrol to provide training for students in electricity, robotics, industrial automation, controls, and welding. Fidus Global utilized its business partnerships to help BRTC obtain top of the line, current robotics and automation equipment at a discounted rate. Hytrol has provided insight and resources developing and implementing a sophisticated conveyor system, so students can reap the benefits of cutting-edge training. Greenbrier has committed to providing human resources in the form of welding teachers and industry knowledge to help BRTC curriculum stay at the top.
“BRTC is grateful for all of these outstanding business partners and their commitment to training tomorrow’s workforce,” said BRTC Vice President Brad Baine.