U.S. Senators Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor and Representative Vic Snyder (AR-02) joined Pulaski Technical College President Dr. Dan F. Bakke today to announce that the college has been awarded a $1,506,652 competitive grant from the U.S. Department of Labor. The funding is part of the Community-Based Job Training Grants Initiative designed to help community colleges equip workers with the skills needed by growing local industries.
The grant will allow Pulaski Technical College to lead a strategic partnership to train more workers for the growing aerospace industry. The industry is projected to add significant numbers of new jobs to Central Arkansas with the expansion of local employers in the next few years.
"I applaud Pulaski Technical College and its partners in Arkansas for obtaining this grant to address our state's education needs and employment opportunities," Lincoln said. "Their proactive efforts are a great example of public and private entities working together to strengthen our state and invest in our fellow Arkansans."
"Pulaski Tech has given so much throughout the years to strengthen communities throughout central Arkansas," said Pryor. "This funding helps students enter the high-demand industry of aerospace while also having a positive influence on the local economy now and in the future."
"Once more, Pulaski Tech is flying high," said Congressman Snyder. "What great news!"
"We are very excited about this opportunity to expand our programs in support of the workforce training and education needs of the state's aerospace industry," Dr. Dan F. Bakke, college president, said. "We are very appreciative to our congressional delegation and to our aerospace industry partners for their continued support of our growth and development."
"The mission of Pulaski Technical College is to support economic development in the state of Arkansas, and the jobs for which our graduates will qualify secure a better future for workers and their families," Bakke said.
Pulaski Technical College and its key partners--Central Arkansas Workforce Investment Board; Dassault Falcon Jet; Hawker Beechcraft Services; ASGI LLC; Arloe Designs; Custom Aircraft Cabinetry; Pulaski County Special School District; North Little Rock School District; Little Rock School District; and the Arkansas Department of Aeronautics--will create technical certificates and an associate's degree program in Aircraft Manufacturing Technology to help train workers. In addition, the partnership will work to double enrollment in the current Aircraft Maintenance Technology two-year degree program. The strategic partnership projects annual enrollment of 300 students in these programs by the end of the three-year grant period, an increase of 200 students directly attributable to the federal investment.
During the life of the grant, up to 600 individuals are expected to participate in training activities. More than 500 students will receive a technical certificate or associate's degree during the three-year grant period.
Pulaski Technical College is one of 69 community colleges awarded a competitive grant from the Community-Based Job Training Grants Initiative. Awardees were chosen from among 341 applications.