$2.9 Million Awarded to Arkansas Aerospace Training Consortium

by Arkansas Business Staff  on Monday, Feb. 2, 2009 11:48 am  

The two-year colleges that make up the Arkansas' Aerospace Training Consortium on Monday were awarded a $2.9 million grant by the U.S. Department of Labor to develop and expand aerospace skills training over the next three years.

The colleges and several partner aerospace/aviation industries pledged nearly $1.8 million in matching in-kind funds.

The focus of the project is to share resources among the colleges and partner industries to add instructors, equipment and curriculum to coincide with new Labor Department aerospace skills competencies.

The consortium is led by the Arkansas Association of Two-Year Colleges, with the University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville as the lead institution. Other participating institutions include Southern Arkansas University-Tech; Black River Technical College; National Park Community College; Rich Mountain Community College; Arkansas Northeastern College; Ouachita Technical College and Arkansas State University-Beebe.

The aerospace and aviation industry is Arkansas' largest export, with a growth rate of 28 percent in the past two years, according to the Arkansas Department of Economic Development. The industry is statewide and wages are much higher than regional averages.

Consortium partners include the Governor's Workforce Cabinet, Arkansas Department of Workforce Services, Arkansas Economic Development Commission, the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce, the Arkansas Department of Aviation, the Federal Aviation Administration, the Council for Adult Experiential Learning, and Arkansas aerospace/aviation industry leaders.



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