FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The 2015 Young Manufacturers Academies kick off today and take place at 9 locations through Friday, August 7. This year’s Academies are presented in partnership with the Gene Haas Foundation, Albermarle Corporation, the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, El Dorado Chemical, Entergy-Arkansas, Great Lakes Solutions, Lennox Corp., Lockheed Martin Corp., and Martin Midstream Partners.
Young Manufacturers Academies are the signature program of Dream It. Do It. Arkansas, which was developed in partnership with the Manufacturing Institute, the National Association of Manufacturers, employers, Arkansas’s education system, our workforce development agencies and economic development organizations statewide.
This week, some 250 young people from grades 7-9 are participating in the Young Manufacturers Academies program, whose primary goal is to grow and develop the manufacturing workforce pipeline in the middle grades, a critical juncture in need of particular attention. The Associated Industries of Arkansas Foundation has partnered with two-year colleges from around the state to host the Academies. Academy sites include Arkansas Northeastern College in Blytheville, Arkansas State University-Mountain Home, College of the Ouachitas in Malvern, National Park College in Hot Springs, North Arkansas College in Harrison, Northwest Technical Institute in Springdale, SAU Tech in Camden, Southeast Arkansas College in Pine Bluff, SouthArk Community College in El Dorado, and University of Arkansas Community College in Morrilton.
“The manufacturing industry is facing an unprecedented shortage of skilled workers that will intensify as the baby boom generation retires. If we are to maintain a competitive edge in the global economy, the pipeline of students prepared to enter manufacturing careers must be increased,” says Randy Zook, President of the Associated Industries of Arkansas Foundation and President & CEO of the Arkansas State Chamber/AIA. “Too many people still think of manufacturing as dirty, dangerous assembly line jobs, requiring low skill and offering poor pay. The reality is that manufacturing today takes place in high-tech facilities and there are many opportunities for young people with the right skills to be innovative, creative, and entrepreneurial in a range of high-wage, interesting careers.”
Since today's manufacturing requires technology literacy, reasoning, and problem-solving proficiencies, students must recognize the value of academic achievement in STEM and aspire to that achievement as a component of future career success. To accomplish this, students must have opportunities to participate in hands-on experiences with manufacturing-related activities that are contemporary, driven by the field, and STEM-rich.
The Young Manufacturers Academies offer students the opportunity to explore the broad range of high-wage, interesting careers that today’s advanced manufacturing offers. This manufacturing-themed program uses an innovative approach to STEM-learning through authentic experiences that generates student engagement to grow and develop a rapidly shrinking skilled workforce pipeline.
Founded in 1991, the Associated Industries of Arkansas Foundation is a business-led, solutions development and research organization, working in partnership with state business leaders and government officials to advance public knowledge and understanding of Economics & Finance, Education & Career Training, Human Relations, Science & Technology, Domestic & International Relations, Issues Contributing to a Rising Quality of Life, as well as other subjects related to improving Efficiency, Development and Acceleration of Economic Growth and Employment Opportunities.
The Foundation, in a manner consistent with its education and research priorities, works in partnership with the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce & Associated Industries of Arkansas to deliver objective information regarding issues confronting Arkansas businesses and residents today.
For More Information, Contact Andrew Parker at firstname.lastname@example.org or (501) 372-2222.