- (October 5, 2015) NPC hosted approximately 800 students from area schools on Friday, October 2, 2015 as part of a nationwide initiative. Manufacturing Day at NPC included campus tours showcasing welding, aerospace, and industrial technology programs, local business and industry tours including tours of Baxley/Log-Pro, Alliance Rubber, and AirTech Supply, High School Technical Program tours, and a trade show which allowed students to connect with manufacturing through hands-on experiences. On-campus activities included welding demonstrations by welding faculty, Q&A with Dassault Falcon Jet and Lockheed Martin regarding careers in the aerospace and defense industries, and a mechanical devices demonstration. High School Technical Program tours included pre-engineering, wood technology, and machine tool technology. Students had the opportunity to tour the National Park Technology Center (NPTC) Wood Technology program to experience techniques in forming and producing wood laminates, processes which produce aircraft cabinetry, water skis, and skateboards. Demonstrations were also given of CNC Routers, a laser cutter, an engine lathe, and a vertical milling machine.
- (August 10, 2015) NPC hosted Young Manufacturer's Academy for 22 area middle school students during the week of August 3. Activities included a trip to the Mid-America Science Museum, a LEAN manufacturing simulation with Arkansas Manufacturing Solutions, learning CNC programming principles, and an introduction to mechanical design through a bridge building game. Participants saw advanced manufacturing in practice through industry tours at Berry Plastics, Baxley LogPro, and Alliance Rubber. Chad Causey from the Arkansas Aerospace Alliance kicked off a day filled with airplane parts at Triumph Fabrications and AirTech Supply. The week concluded with an Ice Cream Stick Factory competition and final presentations by participants for their families.
- (June 17, 2015) National Park College (NPC), the Hot Springs Metro Partnership (HSMP), and Arkansas Manufacturing Solutions hosted the Spring Manufacturing Summit at the NPC/HSU Downtown Campus on May 20, 2015. Dr. John Hogan of NPC and Jim Fram of the HSMP welcomed over 40 attendees to the event.
TAACCCT Grant Coordinator, William Polk, provided an update on the new Industrial Technology, Technical Certificate program that begins this fall at NPC. The program was established with funding provided by the TAACCCT grant and collaborative efforts between the college and company representatives. Courses in this program will equip students with the skills needed to work effectively for local manufacturing companies.
Attendees also participated in a roundtable discussion moderated by Megan Greeson of the Hot Springs Metro Partnership. This activity allowed area manufacturers an opportunity to learn more about each other and define some common challenges. Future discussions will allow regional partnerships to form and provide an opportunity for employers to identify emerging trends in workforce development, supply chain, and other industry-wide challenges.
Arkansas Manufacturing Solutions provided lunch and professional development. Dan Mickelson presented “Beyond LEAN Manufacturing” and discussed elements of advanced LEAN concepts utilized by successful manufacturing companies.
- (May 1, 2015) The Arkansas Department of Higher Education, Friday, approved a new program of study in Aerospace Fabrication and Repair at National Park College. The new program consists of a one year technical certificate which gives students the knowledge and hands-on skills to succeed in good paying jobs with local industry. Skills include the production and repair of metallic and composite aerospace structures, the ability to interpret technical drawings, and understand aerospace production systems. The new Aerospace Fabrication and Repair program will be housed in a newly renovated, 2700 sq. ft., lab facility with an attached classroom and $78,000 of new equipment, hand tools and supplies via the TAACCCT grant.
- (October 3, 2014) Hundreds of middle and high school students descended upon NPCC on October 3 for Manufacturing Day 2014. Activities included touring local manufacturing facilities and watching videos to learn about the new face of manufacturing in the 21st century. NPCC coordinated and hosted the event to raise awareness of manufacturing career opportunities in Garland County, address common misperceptions about manufacturing, help manufacturers connect with future generations, and begin to address the skilled labor shortage in Arkansas. Campus tours highlighted educational opportunities in Industrial Technology, Aerospace Fabrication and Welding Technology.
(October 2, 2014) On October 2, NPCC held a Grand Reopening event to showcase their rejuvenated Welding Technology program. Throughout the afternoon, guests explored the renovated lab and watched welding demonstrations. Large manufacturers, such as Baxley Equipment and Xpress Boats, displayed their products. Some guests even got to try their hand at the virtual welder. Finally, Dr. John Hogan, NPCC President, formally reopened the program with a ribbon cutting hosted by the Greater Hot Springs Chamber of Commerce.
(August 15, 2014) The Welding Technology program at NPCC has seen a lot of change this summer. Working closely with local industry, the program has set out to reinvent itself. First, through ongoing evaluation of workforce skill requirements, the program is incorporating new welding processes, technologies, and certifications in to the curriculum. Second, the welding lab has been completely renovated, stripped down to bare concrete then fitted out with new paint, lighting, electrical wiring, fume exhaust systems, and welding machines. These physical changes provide a safe, state-of-the-art facility ready to teach skills required by local industry.
- (April 11, 2014) The first Ouachita Regional Manufacturing Partnership meeting was held on April 9 with 16 companies, 3 educational institutions, the Arkansas economic development commission, and various and state workforce partners in attendance. Industry workforce needs were reviewed and input solicited and workforce development initiatives to be funded by TAACCCT were announced.