Tech Depot receives $2.5M economic development grant

Tech Depot receives $2.5M economic development grant

NEWPORT, Ark. (KAIT) - The United States Economic Development Administration awarded Newport’s Tech Depot IT Apprenticeship Academy with a $2.5M grant.

The Newport Economic Development Commission will match the grant with $625,000 to build a 12,000 square foot facility to house the Tech Depot.

Companies like Roach, Hytrol and Farmers Electric hire individuals through the program and they get world-class training in Information Technology.

Hires will also get paid and receive benefits while they learn.

Jon Chadwell with the Newport Economic Development Commission says Newport will be a hub for surrounding areas when it comes to IT.

“We know that all through Northeast Arkansas companies are demanding IT talent and this lets our home people get the jobs that are the best paying jobs in the area," Chadwell said.

He added that it will also benefit the economy in multiple ways including; retaining many in the area after they finish the program and slowly the process of sending talent to larger markets just to receive training.

He says with the pandemic, IT has proven to be a resistant career field.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson was in Newport in September for the ribbon cutting of the Tech Depot collaboration.

“The new Tech Depot facility will allow our citizens to access the training and skills to work with any company in the world, and often they will be able to work remotely and continue to live and raise their families here," Newport Mayor David Stewart said.

Inaugural classes of the Tech Depot will have over 40 apprentices located in Newport, Batesville and Jonesboro.

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