Arkansas Baptist College of Little Rock on Wednesday marked the opening and dedication of the Scott Ford Center for Entrepreneurship & Community Development.
The center, which launched in 2012, is aimed at developing a trained corps of entrepreneurs prepared to start businesses in underserved communities. It is housed in the college's First Security Community Union and named for Scott Ford, the president and CEO of Westrock Capital Partners of Little Rock and the former CEO of Alltel Corp. of Little Rock.
The college said the center and its programs will "provide students with the tools and training necessary to become successful in life, work and restored to their community."
Part of the center's mission includes working with inmates who are transitioning to life outside prison.
"The Scott Ford Center for Entrepreneurship and Community Development will soon graduate its second class of students who are currently inmates residing in the Arkansas Community Corrections facility," Arkansas Baptist College President Fitz Hill said. "The academic curriculum used teaches the mind-set that drives entrepreneurs while also focusing on restoring the whole person."
The college marked the grand opening to the First Security Community Union in March. The Scott Ford Center is housed on the union's third floor. Hill has said the center will be the hub of the college's efforts to develop entrepreneurs who want to build for-profit companies while serving their community.
Wednesday's dedication of the Scott Ford Center featured remarks from Hill, Ford, Paul Chapman of Fellowship Bible Church and Clifton L. Taulbert, a Pulitzer Prize-nominated author whose writings formed the basis of one of the center's curricula.