Longtime Little Rock communications and marketing executive Alan Turner has been named national communications director of Be Pro Be Proud, the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce and Associated Industries of Arkansas initiative created to mold the skilled workforce of the future.
Turner, who was vice president of marketing at Staley Inc. of Little Rock until January and had key posts at the Stone Ward advertising agency and Alltel Wireless, will lead a team devoted to messaging and communications for Be Pro Be Proud, which is active in Arkansas, Georgia, North and South Carolina, and will be launching in New Mexico and Tennessee next year.
In a news release, Turner said he was excited to join an organization having a big impact in shaping “America's next generation of skilled” workers. “Our team is focused on building a wide-range network of internal and external resources while implementing strategic communication efforts to continue the expansion of the program.”
The team’s assignment includes creating and developing promotional and marketing materials that Be Pro Be Proud will use in workshop tours across the country.
The mobile workshops rely on virtual reality technology to give students an immersive experience of what it’s like to use an excavator, weld metal, drive a semi or work in construction, to name just a few fields. The Be Pro mobile workshop has made more than 1,100 stops and attracted 185,000 visitors since the program’s inception in 2016.
Randy Zook, president and CEO of the state chamber and associated industries, called Turner a key to taking the program nationwide.
“His experience and leadership skills make him a great fit for the role,” Zook said in a news release.
Turner returned to Little Rock two years ago to work for Staley after five years as senior director of strategic partnerships with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis. has operated Turner Sponsorship Consultants for the last 15 years.
Be Pro Be Proud, founded in 2016, utilizes virtual reality technology inside mobile workshops to allow students to experience what it’s like to use an excavator, practice welding, drive a tractor trailer and work in construction, among other activities. The Be Pro Mobile Workshop has made more than 1,100 tour stops reaching more than 185,000 visitors to date. More than 60,000 people have sought more information about training and job opportunities in technical areas of the construction, forestry, manufacturing, transportation and utility industries.