Jonesboro students help community - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Jonesboro students help community

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - A group of students decided to step out into the community to give a helping hand. Northeast Arkansas Career and Technical Center students began working to install bike racks along the Greenway path.

This project is actually a continuation from the installation of the bike racks currently in downtown Jonesboro.

Michael Barrett, instructor of position manufacturing and machining, says this project first began with an idea.

"Dr. Jeff Graham is real good friend of mine and he began talking to me last year about building bike racks and stuff because there are so many bicyclers in Northeast Arkansas and around Jonesboro.. And then Jeff Owens started talking to me as well about how ideally he would like to have things set up to where people could commute to work and back, to the mall and back by bike or walking."

Barrett says he and students decided to lend a hand because of the situation bicyclists were in. "In the past, it has been where anyone Jonesboro that rode a bike was limited on their parking. There were just no racks available. No where that they could park their bikes. And so, that's where we came in. We thought we could do a community service and produce these racks with a minimal amount of cost to us and help the city in the process."

Barrett says he feels the students get as much out of a project like this as they give. "It's something they really take a lot of pride in because it's not just something that's done and left at school or destroyed. It's something that's going to go on for years and it's a useable item."

Barrett says what is great about projects like these is it gives students hands on experience they can apply to the real world. "It teaches them manufacturing and this is actually a part of their curriculum. Part of what we do is metal fabrication and this teaches them some of the step by step process that they will go through when they graduate and they go on to a secondary school or to work in the industry."

Barrett says people seem to really be responding to the bike racks style. "They look like bikes. Everyone thinks they're pretty cool. The students are happy with them and the way they turned out."

Jakeb Bushong is a senior at NEA Tech. He says he wanted to participate in this project because he felt it was something he could not only learn from, but help the community.

"I feel really good about participating. I'm helping the city I grew up in, I was born and raised here so it feels like I'm giving back to the community."

Bushong says despite all the work that goes into making these racks, it's worth it.

"It takes a lot of work to do this. We put a lot of man hours into this and I feel happy when I drive by and I see the racks that I've helped build and put down. I know people are using them and they're not just sitting there rusting. I feel like I've helped those people who want to bike and want to get out a little more."

For more information about Northeast Arkansas Career and Technical Center, log onto their website.

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