Press Releases                                                                        



NPC Industrial Technology Programs Open House

(18 February 2016) The National Park College (NPC) Industrial Technology Program hosted an open house this week in the new Industrial Technology lab at National Park College. The Greater Hot Springs Chamber of Commerce Ambassador’s Club performed a ribbon cutting that followed remarks from Program Director William Polk, Associate Vice President for Technical Education, David Hughes, NPC President, Dr. John Hogan, and representatives from Berry Plastics.

An estimated 100 guests and community partners attended the event, including Greater Hot Springs Chamber of Commerce President, Jim Fram, Lake Hamilton School District Superintendent, Steve Anderson, Arkansas Community Colleges Executive Director, Bill Stovall, NPC Board of Trustees Secretary, Gail Ezelle, Hot Springs Downtown Education Center Executive Director, Christi Nation, Field Representative for Congressman Bruce Westerman, Cara Cox, Manager of the Arkansas Workforce Center, Janet Edgar, representatives from College of the Ouachita’s Mechatronics program, and representatives from Berry Plastics, Sigma Supply, and Munro Shoes.

Using a federal Department of Labor Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College Career Training (TAACCCT) grant, the College created the Industrial Technology program, specifically tailored to help close the skills gaps of local manufacturing employers. NPC collaborated with Berry Plastics, industry champion and grant partner, to create scheduling and sequencing to accommodate employees’ work schedules and provide targeted services to ensure success. Chuck Overton, Berry Plastics Director of Maintenance Operations spoke about the impact the program has made and noted they have observed a measurable difference in their employees.

NPC Ind Tech Open House

Program Director William Polk said, “We are passionate about building the workforce that Garland County needs. We have taken the time to survey employers and we believe this program is a perfect fit for our region.”

The Industrial Technology program provides the basis for a career in many fields including Fluid Power Mechanic, Controls and Automation, Technician, Multi-Craft Technician, Millwright, Sensors and Instrumentation Technician, Industrial Maintenance Mechanic and Mechatronics Technician, among others. It prepares students with the skills necessary for a variety of jobs in modern manufacturing facilities. The program provides entry-level knowledge and skills to set up, operate, maintain and repair the machines and control systems that power industry.

The 28 credit hour program of study results in a Technical Certificate in Industrial Technology and can be completed in as little as six months. All credit hours apply toward the Associate of Applied Science (AAS) Degree in General Technology. Core technical subjects include blueprint reading, mechanical systems, fluid power, electricity, motor controls and programmable logic controllers.

NPC is located in a growing manufacturing hub, producing a diversity of products from rubber bands and bottle caps to industrial cables and lumber equipment. The College strives to meet the needs of local business and industry through workforce development and academic programs that prepare a workforce with the skills to be competitive in today’s workplace.


Photo: GHSCC Ambassadors, Dr. John Hogan, Trustee Gail Ezelle, and Ed Henthorn from Berry Plastics at the Industrial Technology Program Open House Ribbon Cutting.

Manufacturing Day 2015


(October 5, 2015) Three consortium colleges, CCCUA, NPC, and SouthArk, hosted Manufacturing Day events on Friday, October 2, 2015 as part of a nationwide initiative. Area students were exposed to various aspects of manufacturing through on-campus, hands-on activities, overviews of manufacturing-related programs such as welding, industrial technology, process technology, and aerospace fabrication and repair, business and industry tours, and equipment demonstrations. The purpose of these events is to address common misconceptions about manufacturing through educational and industry tours, presentations, demonstrations, and activities. 


UAHT Hosts Fall 2015 RAMP Employer Summit

RAMP Employer Summit.092915

(September 30, 2015) The fall Regional Advanced Manufacturing Partnership (RAMP) employer summit was held on September 29, 2015 on the campus of UAHT in Hope, Arkansas. Over 50 industry partners, state partners, and college stakeholders were present. The focus of the meeting was on sector partnership strategies. Chris Thomason, Chancellor of UAHT, provided opening remarks. Barbara Jones, President of SouthArk, followed by providing introductions of attending industry partners and a summary of the purpose of sector partnerships. Steve Cole, Chancellor of UA Cossatot, and Barbara Jones provided an update of external funding opportunities for SWACCC which include the ADHE State Workforce Initiative grant (Building the Pipeline), the DOL-SP: NEG (Arkansas Partnership) grant, and the DOL- American Apprenticeship grant. Troy Nutter, Operational Training Manager for Puget Sound Energy, joined the conversation on sector partnerships via Google Hangout, hosted by Sarah Klerk, Policy Associate from SWACCC partner, Corporation for a Skilled Workforce, to provide an overview of his experience with sector partnerships. Mr. Nutter emphasized the importance of developing mutually beneficial partnerships through the use of internships, apprenticeships, online learning opportunities, and the development and implementation of career lattices. Robert Gunnels, Executive Vice Chancellor of SAU Tech, was the facilitator of a conversation with representatives from industry partners, Becky Ives, Talent and Organizational Capability Coordinator from Lockheed-Martin, and Erik Perrin, Production Manager from General Dynamics (pictured right). Cindy Varner, Associate Director for Employment Assistance at ADWS wrapped up the meeting with a presentation outlining the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). The next RAMP Employer Summit is expected to take place in the spring.



(April 1, 2015) SWACCC has been busy moving forward into year two of the DOL TAACCCT award with many activities including: on-going development and cultivation of relationships with industry partners, revision and development of new and existing for-credit and non-credit programs related to advanced manufacturing, identification, purchase, and installation of new equipment along with building renovations to enhance targeted programs, and development and implementation of online and technology-enabled learning including UACCH's launch of an accelerated, distance-delivered format for Supply Chain Management.


Manufacturing Day

Students at South Ark's Manufacturing Day

(October 20, 2014) The first week of October, South Arkansas Community College and National Park Community College each hosted Manufacturing Day Events.  Area students and job seekers were able to tour the campuses, view demonstrations of manufacturing technology, and learn from representatives of local industries about the wide variety of career paths available to them in the manufacturing industry.


Young Manufacturers Academy

20140804.YMA.SouthArk1(August 11, 2014) The 2014 Young Manufacturers Academy was held the week of August 4th at College of the Ouachitas and South Arkansas Community College (SouthArk). The two SWACCC colleges were two of seven locations chosen by the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce to host the Academy as part of Dream It. Do It., the grassroots authority on influencing the perception of manufacturing careers. The purpose of Dream It. Do It. is to educate students, parents and educators on the importance of career and technical training needed to fill manufacturing jobs in order to build a competitive workforce for our state.

Through the Young Manufacturers Academy, area seventh and eighth grade students learned about manufacturing while engaging in hands-on activities such as engineering sea planes and manufacturing custom ice cream sticks. Students were introduced to a range of manufacturing careers including Safety, Management, Human Resources, Welding, Automotive Technology, Process Operations and Engineering. Throughout the week, participants at the SouthArk Center for Workforce Development site met with local industry representatives from Martin Resource Management, Anthony Forest Products, Cross Oil, Therma-Flite, Lion Oil, and Nexans AmerCable. The Academy featured a showcase on the final day where industry partners and students' family members viewed student presentations and demonstrations. Each student was awarded a certificate of completion. Overall, the academy was a success and we look forward to hosting it in 2015 with the possibility of extending the program to additional age groups. (Pictured L to R at SouthArk's Young Manufacturers Academy: Jacovi Moody, Kameron Smith, Instructor Greg Taylor, Janelius Dixon, Isaac Garrett)


SouthArk Hosts Second RAMP Employer Summit

Audience viewing a presentation at the 2nd RAMP employer summit (July 10, 2014) The second Regional Advanced Manufacturing Partnership (RAMP) employer summit was hosted by South Arkansas Community College (SouthArk) on July 9 at the El Dorado Conference Center. Attendees included representatives from local and regional advanced manufacturing industries and state-level partners. Dr. Barbara Jones, President of SouthArk, opened the meeting explaining the importance of nurturing and growing the relationships between the community colleges and the community colleges and industry. Greg Taylor, RAMP Industrial Chair and Director of EHS Training at Martin Resource Management in Smackover, continued the conversation, citing the importance of involvement and input from industry with the grant's initiatives. Brief overviews of industry-recognized credentials, advanced manufacturing career pathways, and achieving credentials via prior learning assessment were presented, each followed by a discussion with industry partners. The meeting closed after attendees travelled to SouthArk's east campus for a demonstration of a hands-on training unit, purchased with funding from the City of El Dorado. The training unit is used for industrial training by local manufacturers and by SouthArk's credit-bearing technical programs. The next meeting is expected to take place in the fall.




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