BRTC receives $250k from grant money; students to benefit

BRTC works to add more programs

POCAHONTAS, Ark. (KAIT) - Black River Technical College’s Board of Trustees were busy Thursday discussing adding $250,000 to existing programs and creating new programs for the school’s curriculum.

The Delta Regional Authority awarded the college money to go toward the nursing program in Paragould and the truck driving program.

A partnership with Arkansas Methodist Medical Center in Paragould will hopefully give students the possibility of a registered nursing degree. That program will receive about $150,000 of the total amount given.

The truck driving program will receive $100,000. BRTC plans to use the money to purchase a new 18-wheeler truck and any additional equipment the program needs.

In addition to the money awarded, board members heard a proposal for a new gunsmithing program. If added, students will work on maintenance, upkeep, and alteration to existing firearms.

If BRTC gets the program, they’ll be one of five in the nation to offer it. Students will learn about scopes, trigger actions, and chokes for guns.

President Martin Eggensperger says the college is happy about the possible new addition.

“We’re really excited about being on the cutting edge of new programs that will help a kid not only get a really good education but also a great job afterward,” he says.

Safety concerns were addressed during the meeting. The school says there will be age requirements for the course as well as added security around the weapons.

Board members recognized two students who proposed a resolution to add a mascot to the campus. They plan to purchase the mascot themselves and maintain it.

“The students are really excited about the mascot,” Eggensperger says. “They unanimously voted to endorse this from the student activity’s board, the student government association, and the student ambassador. They have all gotten together collectively to create and introduce this mascot.”

The students have money set aside from BRTC solely for their own use. Their next step is to form a committee to discuss the mascot’s theme and creation.

The board of trustees all voted unanimously to move forward on all items discussed above.

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