New program starting at Ashdown School District

Updated: June 8, 2018

By Ronda Pounds

ASD Public Relations Coordinator

Pictured are (from left): Rodney Ellis with Tyson, Jeb Parker, Taylor Markle, Taylor Schmidt, Milton Smith, Jake Day, Matthew Swilley, Ty Gentry, Ricky Branscum, Damarcus Deloney, Hunter Lewis, Julie Rhodes with UA Cossatot, Steve McJunkins with UA Cossatot, Kristie Broussard with Weyerhaeuser and Leslie Hendrix with Weyerhaeuser.

The Ashdown School District, in partnership with UA Cossatot, Weyerhaeuser and Tyson, are providing a wonderful opportunity for AHS students to take classes that will provide them with certifications in which they can use to secure high paying jobs at graduation or continue onto college and graduate with a four-year degree.

The pathway options are mechanical, electrical, or a combination of both. Modules will provide training in electricity, mechanical devices, hydraulics, and pneumatics, programmable logic controllers, HVAC, welding, mechatronics, instrumentation, and other needed skillsets.

Students participating in the program can complete up to 100 certifications in industrial maintenance while receiving concurrent credit and have up to 36 college credit hours upon completion. The program will be delivered in 32 modules in nine-week courses over four semesters while utilizing curriculum developed by the National Center for Construction and Education Research (NCCER). NCCER will also be the accrediting agency for this program. Other curriculum will be used as needed. The classes will be offered in three-hour blocks, morning and afternoon, Monday through Friday, over four semesters (two years).

The program was triggered by industries needing skilled employees. Students will also be challenged to show up on time and for each class session. Industries are looking for students who are the “cream of the crop.”

Classes will be located at the Old Lockesburg High School in Fall 2018 at the Lockesburg Industrial Maintenance Institute (LIMI), which has been newly renovated specifically designed for the program.

According to information provided by UA Cossatot, Tyson Foods led the effort in this initiative and is reaching out to other companies to help support this program that is being designed to satisfy the needs of all local manufacturing and processing facilities in this area. The skillsets attained in this program are transferable not only from company to company but industry to industry, worldwide.