By Lauren Payne - bio | email feedback
NEWPORT, AR (KAIT) - "We are able to enhance programs, deliver content that we would probably not be able to do if it were not for the federal dollars," said Director of Business and Transportation Technology at ASU Newport, Bentley Wallace.
As part of a 5 community college consortium, ASU Newport and the other schools are using millions in grant money to educate and build a workforce for the area.
"They build capacity in education and training so that students are exposed to the latest greatest technology, the latest theory," said Wallace.
Wallace says they're taking the lead with one of the latest grants for the consortium-- 4.3 million dollars for diesel technology ranging from bio fuels to hybrid automotive technology.
"These programs are designed to enhance the educational opportunities for that existing workforce as well as the future workforce," said Wallace.
Hands on opportunities giving students a real world feel along with lessons in the classroom.
"There is a demand for employees that have this skill set and this knowledge and there are good paying jobs for people who come out of school with the knowledge of environmental sustainability," said Wallace.
Wallace says the grant provides for career counseling and scholarships money.
"The primary focus is workforce development," said Wallace.
Development that starts in the classroom--and is cultivated through hands on learning this grant money helps provide.
"That's where the students can make that leap from basic technical training to 21st century training that allows them to get the high paying jobs that are here now, and more are coming," said Wallace.
Community colleges in the consortium include ASU Newport, Arkansas Northeastern, East Arkansas Community College, Mid-South Community College, and Phillips Community College.