JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - A mobile unit rolled into Jonesboro to educate people on skilled trade positions.
According to statistics provided by the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce, there are an estimated 5.6 million job openings nationwide with around 60,000 in Arkansas.
The governor responded to this information with an initiative, "Be Pro, Be Proud."
A mobile workforce workshop set up Monday morning on the Arkansas State University Newport campus in Jonesboro.
Skilled professionals gave live demonstrations of their chosen careers and answered audience questions.
A-State Newport Chancellor Sandra Massey said she was thrilled students got to experience the event.
"We're so glad we had the opportunity to bring this mobile lab here for people to see," Massey said. "We had many business partners with us. We actually had students here. So, this will be an opportunity for people in this area to explore careers in technical programs."
Massey said the professionals working on the mobile unit were very informative.
"There's often a misunderstanding about what it's like to be in a factory today," Massey said. "A lot of people think it's dirty work. They don't understand. It's actually a very high skilled type environment and it's a clean environment. People can make very good wages. So, we're just trying to help people understand what some of their additional options are rather than just always going to traditional learning routes."
Students from local high schools came to the event.
"We had students here today from the Career and Technical Center at Jonesboro High School and they loved it," Massey said. "They're already in some of the career technical programs and they were even able to tell us about some of the things going on."
Krestin Hartsell of Newport is studying welding at the college and said she wished something like the "Be Pro, Be Proud" mobile unit existed when she was younger.
"Actually, I wish I had known about welding earlier on," Hartsell said. "I mean, I'm 25 now and this is my second time in college and I wish I had known about it sooner. I mean, there's a lot of good job opportunities and you can build up within."
Copyright 2016 KAIT. All rights reserved.