Workforce Technology Center Positive for Region 8

February 10, 2006--Posted at 5:33 p.m. CST

CRITTENDEN COUNTY, AR-- Crittenden County is emerging as a thriving automotive manufacturing hub for the delta. With this industry comes a vital need for a qualified workforce. Something that Mid-South Community College hopes to churn out with it's new workforce technology center.

"We have the opportunity to create those jobs and we are very much intent on creating educational programs that are directly related to those jobs," said MSCC President Dr. Glen Fenter.

Jobs that Mid-South Community College believes they can equip local workers with the construction of their new Workforce Technology Center.

"This facility is just another expression of the delta's growing committment to proactively investing in education," said Fenter.

When MSCC made plans for the Workforce Technology Center they sat down with Hino Motors to find out how to best equip the center and also set up a proper curriculam for students.

"They have been talking with our executives here as well as some of the people in Japan, they even took a trip to Japan to come up with a curriculam that will be a effective for us to have a trained workforce," said Hino Public Relations Specialist Lisa Cherry.

The Workforce Technology Center has a price tag of around 7 million dollars. A small price to pay for educational programs that will set up the mid south with jobs in the future.

"If we can demonstrate that efficiently then you are going to see other automotive manufacturers look at our region," said Fenter.

With two interstate highways, a Mississippi River port, the intermodal rail yard, and a talented workforce Mid-South Community College believes the pieces are in place for a major economic boom.

"To use technology as a proactive economic development tool in places like Eastern Arkansas. And the results here in this part of Eastern Arkansas are on the verge of becoming mind boggling," said Fenter.

MSCC is paying for the Workforce Technology Center with various grants from the Delta Regional Authority and tax money from Crittenden County.