Newport RET program blooming, students seeing benefits - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Newport RET program blooming, students seeing benefits

By Lauren Payne - bio | email feedback

NEWPORT, AR (KAIT) "Getting the hands on is really what counts, said ASU Newport Student, Kyle Story.

Story is in ASU Newport's Renewable Energy Technology program.

"I hope to gain a lot of knowledge out of this," said Story.

Knowledge from an internship he will soon begin. Story is one of about 15 RET students who will be interns for various businesses and industries around Northeast Arkansas.  The focus will be on renewable energy or how a business could use renewable energy.

"It's nice to see the area businesses recognize a need for this emerging workforce, which is really the workforce of the future," said Jack Osier.

RET instructor Jack Osier says there's a variety of internship fields...from solar wind energy to bio-fuels

"The experience that the students have from doing these internships, not only do they show the skills they already have, they also pick up a lot of new skills," said Osier.  

"Obviously a lot of crops are potential renewable energy sources. That's where we fit in at," said Randy Chlapecka.

The Jackson County Extension Service is one of the businesses offering an internship spot. Randy Chlapecka says it's a hands-on, research-rich job.

"Things related to growing crops, educating farmers about growing crops, learning ways to grow higher yielding crops and things like that," said Chlapecka.

 Lori Barker with the Natural Resources Conservation Service says they've offered internships for years and says it's a chance to see if all the pieces fit together.

"I think for any company, that's the best way to see if that person is right for you regardless of the business and knowledge they can provide--see if they're right for you," said Barker.

Kyle Story says he'll use his internship opportunity to gain experience, network, and hopefully pave a smooth path from the classroom to the workforce.

"You can learn a lot of things from out of a book, but there's nothing that will actually take the place of you actually doing it and being there on the spot," said Story

ASU Newport's Renewable Energy Technology program is only around two-years old, but already it has between 50 and 55 students.     

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