Regional Workforce Planning Grant Award Notifications

LITTLE ROCK, ARKANSAS – The Arkansas Department of Higher Education has announced projects selected by members of the Governor’s Workforce Cabinet to receive Regional Workforce Planning Grants under the Workforce Initiative Act of 2015 (Act 1131 of 2015).  Institutions were notified of the awards on September 30, with the following projects approved for funding:

•   Arkansas State University Mid-South: Arkansas Delta Accelerating Pathways Together (ADAPT)
•   Arkansas State University - Mountain Home: Creating a Talent Pipeline to Advanced Manufacturing
•   Arkansas State University - Mountain Home: Programming/Mobile Application Development
•   Arkansas State University – Newport: Northeast Arkansas Educating Agriculture Technology (EAT)
•   Arkansas Tech University Ozarks: Arkansas Tech University Career Training Alliance
•   Black River Technical College: Training Tomorrow’s Workers Today
•   Cossatot Community College of the University of Arkansas – Regional Advanced Manufacturing Partnership: Building the Pipeline
•   College of the Ouachitas: High School Pre-Apprenticeship Career Pathways
•   North Arkansas College: Advanced Manufacturing and Emerging Clinical Healthcare Workforce Initiative
•   National Park College: Innovative Technologies Center of Excellence
•   Northwest Arkansas Community College: Regional Construction Technology Pathway
•   Philander Smith College: Central Arkansas Center for Workforce Innovation and Strategic Economic Public Private Partnerships (WISE P3)
•   Rich Mountain Community College: Expanding Workforce Programs in Rural Arkansas
•   Southern Arkansas University Tech: Aerospace Defense Sector Certification Pathways Planning Grant
•   South Arkansas Community College: Futures in Information Technology (FIT)
•   University of Arkansas Community College at Morrilton: University of Arkansas Workforce Alliance
•   University of Arkansas Fayetteville: IT Readiness
•   University of Arkansas Fort Smith:  Data Analytics Academy
•   University of Arkansas Fort Smith: Automation Academy
•   University of Arkansas at Monticello: Workforce Alliance of Southeast Arkansas
•   University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff: Jefferson STEM Work Initiative

Projects were awarded based on how well they met several core requirements built around career and technical education pathways for students and how well they convey four critical elements of their planning strategy, including program need, program plan, strength of community partnerships and a budget plan.

The Regional Workforce Grants will be implemented in three stages. These projects that have been awarded planning grants will be eligible to apply for Implementation Grants in June of 2016 and Continuation Grants in 2018.

The Regional Workforce Grant Program seeks to create a statewide, comprehensive structure enabling students in Arkansas universities, community colleges and secondary centers to participate in career and technical education programs developed with input from area employers and address critical workforce skills gaps.

The Governor’s Workforce Cabinet is comprised of representatives from the Arkansas Department of Higher Education, the Arkansas Department of Education, the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services, the Arkansas Department of Career Education and the Arkansas Economic Development Commission.

Grant funds are expected to be distributed later this month.

The Arkansas Department of Higher Education is responsible for carrying out the policy directives of the AHECB, reviewing college and university academic programs and developing funding recommendations for the state’s 11 public universities and 22 public two-year colleges as well as several other post-secondary entities.

In addition, the agency is responsible for distributing approximately $150 million annually from state revenues and lottery funds. For more information, visit