Thursday, November 6, 2014

ANC to Offer FREE Workforce Readiness Programs and Partners with Big River Steel for Future Hiring Process


OSCEOLA, Arkansas As Arkansas’ newest super-project, Big River Steel, begins construction in Mississippi County, Arkansas Northeastern College (ANC) has announced two workforce readiness programs to aid local residents hoping to join the company’s team — both offered at no cost to the student.

In preliminary meetings with representatives of Big River Steel, ANC recognized the company’s desire to provide job opportunities to residents of the local community. To meet those needs, ANC’s workforce training division, The Solutions Group, will focus on providing all levels of job preparation.

“Providing accessible educational and training opportunities is our mission, and we are proud to offer workforce training to our local companies and new companies coming to the area such as Big River Steel. The Solutions Group has garnered national recognition for its innovation and flexibility, and we are glad to offer that experience and knowledge to the economic development of this region,” said Dr. James Shemwell, President of Arkansas Northeastern College.

ANC’s Construction Technology and Workforce Orientation & Retraining Keys (WORK) programs have been implemented prior to Big River Steel’s location to the area to get a head start on meeting the employment needs that will arise as well as several other announced projects such as BlueOak Arkansas, SMS Millcraft, Mid-River Terminal, Jefferson Iron & Metal, and future not-yet-known ventures.

Working in partnership with the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services, ANC also will assist Big River Steel in its hiring procedure by funneling the application process through its website and Workforce Development Office. The company is partnering with ANC to oversee the large amount of job seekers expected. This will provide a consistent and uncomplicated method by which to apply for a position within the company as well as learn about available training opportunities. The ANC website will post the application procedure as soon as the hiring process is ready which is expected to occur in the spring of 2015.

“Every individual inquiring about a job is important to us,” said Mark Bula, Chief Commercial Officer for Big River Steel. “We want applicants to have access to consistent information about available opportunities for employment and related training. As such, we look forward to working closely with Arkansas Northeastern College as we begin to implement our hiring plans.”

Additionally, ANC will work with the contractors selected by Big River Steel to supply training for construction skills so that the level of local employees will be maximized. ANC has already implemented a new certificate program in Construction Technology to begin preparing individuals as several new companies in the area increase the need for construction employees, including the Big River Steel mill which will require approximately 2,000 workers While Big River Steel serves as a catalyst for the execution of both ANC’s WORK Program and the Construction Technology Certificate Program, these programs are designed to prepare workers for a number of employment opportunities with a wide variety of local companies.

“It’s an exciting time in Mississippi County as growth becomes a reality. It will have an impact throughout our entire region, and we are proud to implement new programs to meet the needs of our local companies and citizens. To this effort, we expand our training region-wide and partner with our sister institutions to maximize the training potential,” said Gene Bennett, ANC Dean for Economic Development.

ANC is working in cooperation with other colleges in the Arkansas Delta Training & Education Consortium (ADTEC), including Arkansas State University-Newport, East Arkansas Community College, and Mid-South Community College, so that those colleges also may offer programs as a regional initiative in the very near future.
One such program conceived by ANC is Workforce Orientation & Retraining Keys (WORK). This 60-clock hour program was developed to provide basic workplace skills to members of the community with little or no prior work experience.
“We’re already seeing success with our WORK program,” said Bennett who added that the training was designed to lift unemployed individuals out of poverty and give them the skills to become employable. “There are a lot of jobs out there and a lot of jobs coming. We need able bodied people ready to fill them.”
The WORK Program provides individuals with the necessary skills and support network to access economic opportunity. Community mentors work with each WORK participant throughout the eight weeks of training and extending until the participant has successfully maintained employment for 90 days.
WORK participants have the opportunity to earn financial incentives during training to help remove barriers to employment, such as funds to purchase work clothes or specialized footwear. Completers of the WORK program have the opportunity to obtain a certificate of WORK completion, an American Heart Association CPR card, a Career Readiness Certificate (CRC), and job interview opportunities with local employers.  WORK represents a comprehensive partnership effort among Arkansas Northeastern College, the Great River Economic Development Foundation, the Mississippi County Equal Opportunity Commission, area industries, community and faith-based leaders, and the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation. Those interested in the WORK Program can contact Coordinator Doug Echols at 870-838-9905.
Additionally, the Construction Technology Program is designed to prepare students for entry level construction jobs.  Students are taught the basics of construction safety, math, and power and hand tools.  Students also develop skills in construction welding, concrete finishing, rigging, and light equipment usage. The goal of the program is to help the student acquire skills that can be used to enter the workplace and be a versatile member of a construction team. This program can be completed in only one semester or less. Individuals interested in Construction Technology can contact Kortnie Driskill at 870-763-6222.

In an effort to expand the local workforce to meet growing needs, both the certificate program in Construction Technology and the WORK Program are offered at no cost to students. Additionally, both programs are short-term (either 10 or 16 weeks for construction and eight weeks for WORK) to provide individuals a fast-track to employment.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

New Art Exhibit Coming to ANC

Arkansas Northeastern College
“Selections from A-State’s
Delta National Small Prints Exhibitions”

“Selections from A-State’s Delta National Small Prints Exhibitions” will open to the public beginning Monday April 14 in the Adams/Vines Gallery on the Blytheville ANC campus. Founded in 1996 by Arkansas State University professor of art Evan Lindquist and produced by the Bradbury Gallery, this exhibition has received great acclaim as it has grown to be one of the country’s foremost annual competitions for prints.
Artists from across the country and around the world submit their prints annually to be considered for inclusion in this exhibition.  Each year as the popularity of the show increases a greater number of artists from a larger number of states and countries apply.  These entries are then reviewed by a nationally respected expert who determines which prints will be included.  The juror, as the position is called, also selects all of the award winners, including the purchase prizes which become a part of the A-State Permanent Collection of Art. This blind process is done without the juror being informed of the name or location of the artists, only the title, medium and dimensions of each print are known.
This exhibition features a selection of award winning prints which span several years.  Included in the exhibition are prints by Yuji Hiratsuka, Florence Alfano McEwin, Babette Mayor, Anne Chesnut, Ross Racine, Norman Wagner, Sang-Mi Yoo, David Warren, Dodie Warren, Kathy L. McGhee, Ella Weber and Chunwoo Nam.
 ANC Gallery hours are 9 a.m.- 5 p.m. Monday – Friday. Or call for an appointment. The exhibition is free and open to the public.  For additional information please contact Mary Ann Garren , Community Education , 870-762-3168

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Upcoming Community Education Classes

April 12: Saturday only- One Day Crash Course in Excel- 8 a.m.- 5 p.m.- ANC campus
Fee: $40 for class and $21.00 for book
April 14,15,16: Mon-Wed: 5:30-9:00- Hunters’ Education – ANC Sullins Bldg.- Lecture Hall Fee: Free
April 14-April  22: Mondays: 6:00- 8:00 -Basic Automotive- Burdette Center- Learn some basic information about how to maintain your car. Fee: $40
April 17: Leachville Library- Thursday: 5-7 p.m. Getting Our Hearts Right- Cost: Free
(for teachers, childcare providers, parents, community leaders. For anyone who has ever experienced conflict at home, work or school! Facilitator: Pam Pruett, University of Ark. , County Extension Office.
April 24: ANC- Adams Vines Bldg- Rm L101- Getting Our Hearts Right- Cost: Free
May 8:  Leachville Library- Thursday: 5-7 p.m.- Identity Theft: How to Prevent It- Cost: Free
May 9-May 30: Fridays: 9-11 a.m. Microsoft Word – ANC- Sullins Bldg. Rm.B-207-
Cost: $48- Learn the basics, along with how to create bulletins, flyers and scrapbooks.
For more information or to register for classes, call Mary Ann Garren at 870-762-3168 or e-mail For a complete list of all classes, check out your local library, Facebook, and the ANC Community Ed Calendar.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Upcoming ANC Community Ed Exercise Classes

April 3-May 6: 6-7 p.m.- Zumba- Tues/Thurs- ANC Wellness Center- Fee: $40- Exercise to dance music.
April 7-May 1: 7:30-8:30 p.m. Dig Deep Boot Camp- ANC Wellness Center- 3 days a week for 4 weeks- $60-
April 15-May 8: Tues/Thurs- 5:00-6:15 p.m. Aerobics- 0-5K with Keith Hearnsberger- ANC Wellness Center
Fee: $40
For more information or to register for classes, call Mary Ann Garren at 870-762-3168 or e-mail For a complete list of all classes, check out your local library, Facebook, and the ANC Community Ed Calendar.

ANC to Offer 2 New Scholarships

In a special board meeting of the Arkansas Northeastern College Board of Trustees held Wednesday
(March 26), two new institutional scholarships were approved.

An institutional scholarship was approved as a temporarily-available scholarship to be offered the Fall 2014 semester. The INET 40 Scholarship decreases the Internet courses to a flat $40 dollars per credit hour for students interested in pursuing an online degree at ANC who have either never attended ANC or who have not attended within the previous two years. The INET 40 Scholarship does not have a residency requirement and officials hope to reach individuals living inside Mississippi County as well within ANC’s service region, including Craighead and Greene Counties and the Bootheel of Missouri.

The INET 40 Scholarship offers qualifying students a net tuition/fee cost of $40 per credit hour for up to 12 credit hours per semester. It will be made available for the equivalent of up to approximately 100 full-time students and will be available to those attending either part-time or full-time. This scholarship is only available to students pursuing degrees that ANC offers entirely online.

Because developmental coursework is not currently designed or best delivered online, only students
not requiring remedial coursework will be academically eligible. The scholarship will carry forward for qualifying students enrolling in the Fall 2014 semester to provide these students the opportunity to finish their degrees with the scholarship’s assistance. Students starting the Fall 2014 semester on part-time status only will be able to receive elevated amounts of scholarship assistance in subsequent semesters (to attend full-time, for instance) if scholarship funds are available.

To take advantage of this scholarship opportunity, new students or students who have not attended ANC for at least two years, must enroll this coming Fall semester. This scholarship opportunity is temporarily available. There are no current plans to offer this scholarship to new students entering after the Fall 2014 semester. Students not taking advantage of the INET 40 Scholarship this Fall may not have the opportunity to receive it in the future.

The purpose of the INET 40 Scholarship is to advance online education and encourage college attendance at ANC for students who have never attended ANC or who have not attended in recent years.

The second institutional scholarship, the Early College Scholarship, was approved. It offers students
enrolled in all Mississippi County high schools, public or private and including Buffalo Island Central, net tuition/fee cost of $25 per credit hour for up to six hours of concurrent credit per semester for students. The Early College Scholarship applies to blended online/Advanced Placement courses, live general education offerings delivered to local high schools, and courses taken independently by county high school students while concurrently enrolled in high school.

ANC can serve up to 300 county high school students each year through this scholarship. If all 300
scholarships are not utilized by Mississippi County students during their registration process for each
upcoming school year, remaining concurrent credit scholarships would be offered to students at other
Arkansas high schools within the ANC service district such as Greene and Craighead Counties. ANC
officials met with all seven county school superintendents on March 19 to present this proposal. The
superintendents predicted high interest and demand. To allow the local schools to factor this opportunity into their planning for FY15 that is occurring presently, staff made a request of the Chairman to call a special meeting of the Board of Trustees.

The Early College Scholarship will be ongoing from year to year. The purpose of the scholarship is to
increase affordable college access to area high school students and to increase college matriculation rates, particularly students matriculating to ANC.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Community Employers Meet at ANC

Local representatives from business, industry, and education gather at ANC's Governors Ballroom to hear details about the newly revived WORK Program.

WORK Program Coordinator Doug Echols explains the attendance policy of the Work Orientation and Retraining Keys Program to representatives of business, industry and education to emphasize that participants in the program will be expected to be dependable employees.

Community members from all sectors including business, industry, Workforce Services and education gathered for breakfast at the Governors Ballroom, on the campus of Arkansas Northeastern College, Friday, August 15, to learn about the newly revived WORK Program. Workforce Orientation & Retraining Keys (WORK) is a sixty clock hour program designed to lift under-skilled local residents living in poverty out of poverty and, simultaneously, advance economic development by expanding the local workforce.
“Through industry and community support, this program will reach out and find people who currently are not supporting themselves and give them the opportunity to learn the skills to be productive in the workforce. Not only is the WORK Program free to participants, it also incorporates an incentive pay to the students as long as they continue to meet the demands of the program, including showing up for each class on time,” said Dr. James Shemwell, President of Arkansas Northeastern College.
The eight-week program represents a comprehensive partnership effort among Arkansas Northeastern College, the Great River Economic Development Foundation, the Mississippi County Equal Opportunity Commission, area industries, community and faith-based leaders, and the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, and is offered to participants at no cost.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

New Certificate Program in General Industry Technology

In its efforts to prepare individuals for the local job market, Arkansas Northeastern College is proud to offer a new Certificate Program in General Industry Technology.  Requiring only 16 credit hours (five or six courses depending on the electives taken), the General Industry Technology Program offers interested individuals a quick option for preparing for the Mississippi County manufacturing workforce.

The General Industry Technology Certificate Programis eligible for federal financial aid. Additional funding opportunities are also available to students and can be explored with members of the ANC Financial Aid staff.

“This new certificate program in General Industry Technology will develop basic skills and knowledge that could be useful in applying for a position with an industrial employer,” said Gene Bennett, ANC Dean for Economic Development who added that holding such a credential could be beneficial for someone looking to get his or her foot in the door with local industry. “We have lots of job growth facing us here in Mississippi County. This certificate could be the ticket for someone wanting to get a job with one of our industrial employers.”

Given the prospect for industrial growth throughout Mississippi County, this new offering will help students, who complete the program, delineate themselves fromother applicants as they will be able to bring needed skills to the workforce. With courses such as Basic Electricity, Industrial Safety, and Introduction to Manufacturing, students will receive a general knowledge and preparation of different areas of a manufacturing plant.

“This program offers a wonderful opportunity to learn the employability skills needed to find work in our local job market and to do so in a relatively short amount of time,” said Bennett.

With courses for the program being offered both day and evening and in Blytheville and Osceola, students have flexibility in managing their schedules. Still, to ensure class availability and the opportunity for additional financial assistance, individuals are encouraged to enroll now.

Because the new program in General Industry Technology has been designated as Trimue Pathways Travel Stipend eligible, students living in Mississippi County may receive financial assistance with their travel expenses.  Gas vouchers will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis to General Industry Technology studentsthrough the ACE Advising Center. Students enrolling in the program could receive a travel stipend (roughly equal to $40 every two weeks) if they meet regularly with an advisor and demonstrate satisfactory progress.

“The goal is to break down barriers for students and help promote intensive, one-on-one counseling to increasestudent success and to incentivize certificate programs with local job demand,” stated ANC President Dr. JamesShemwell.

“It’s just another way that ANC can help students while also training for our local workforce,” added Bennett.

Anyone interested in this program or other ANC offerings should contact the Admissions Office at 870-838-2948 to get started. Registration is currently ongoing for the fall semester, but once classes begin it will be too late to enroll.  

“Trimue Pathways Travel Stipends and course availability cannot be guaranteed, so interested individualsshould call as soon as possible,” said Bennett.