TIDC announcing a major donation

TRUMANN, AR (KAIT) - Friday afternoon board members with the Trumann Industrial Development Commission announced a major donation to go towards the construction of an Adult Education and Work Force Training Center.

"It would probably make up about half of the cost of the project, which is just a tremendous help," said Commission Vic Chairperson Barbara Lewallen. Lewallen spoke amongst city officials and key figures in the community at a reception Friday to honor the Sims family, who generously donated 250-thousand dollars to the help build the education training center.

"It means the world to my sister and I," said Jerry Sims, who grew up and received his education in Trumann. He's been looking to contribute to a project to benefit his hometown.

"We wanted to do something besides baseball fields and things like that, that just benefit a few. We felt that we would benefit the most people by going the education route," said Sims.

For him, it's all about paying it forward. "It's very obvious that education is the key to success in the future and having a good life. We've been awarded a good life and I attribute that to a lot of the family background I had here in Trumann," said Sims.

He decided to get onboard to get the project off the ground. "I knew that Trumann had been trying to get money and had been turned down from numerous grants. Because to be able to get a grant, you have to have money to go with the grant. That's when we decided we wanted to make a donation," said Sims.

The commission believes education is economic development. Lewallen says the community is behind the project. "As most projects, it normally takes a while to get the project going, but people did become interested and we've had several really good things happen," said Lewallen.

From the recent contribution, to the property for the site. Piece after piece has fallen into place. The facility will be built on donated land located off Melton Road.

Sims hope the efforts will better the community and help the people who might have fallen through the cracks.

"Get them back in school, get a GED. Then, they can go out and look for jobs and hopefully encourage their kids to go on to school. If this happens, your going to see great things happening in the delta," said Sims.

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