UACCM/Central Arkansas Consortium Partners with Metro Little Rock Alliance

To strengthen the workforce of the central Arkansas region, the Board of Directors of the eleven-county Metro Little Rock Alliance (MLRA) has voted to partner with the recently formed Central Arkansas Consortium of Two-Year Colleges. The mission of both groups is to foster economic development in central Arkansas.
The partnership was approved Thursday, June 24th, by a vote of the MLRA board. 
In March, six two-year colleges in central Arkansas signed a collaborative agreement to form the Central Arkansas Consortium of Two-Year Colleges.  The Consortium is composed of Arkansas State University – Beebe (ASUB), National Park Community College (NPCC), Ouachita Technical College (OTC), Pulaski Technical College (PTC), Southeast Arkansas College (SEARK), and University of Arkansas Community College – Morrilton (UACCM).
“The two-year colleges have a long history of responding to the workforce needs of the region’s employers,” said Eddie Black, chairman of the Metro Little Rock Alliance. “This consortium will allow the region’s institutions to share resources, curriculum and funding to further enhance the region’s competitiveness.”
“We are pleased to announce the new Central Arkansas Two-Year College Consortium,” says Dr. Ed Franklin, executive director of the Arkansas Association of Two-Year Colleges. “We expect that this consortium, together with the Metro Little Rock Alliance, will have a positive impact on economic development for this region. This is the final piece of a statewide plan to develop two-year college consortia for each region of Arkansas to erase city and county lines and work together for the economic benefit of the state.”
The three purposes of the consortium are: 1) to combine the resources and expertise of the six colleges to better met workforce, industry training and economic development needs of the region; 2) to allow the Consortium members to address the training and economic development needs of an expansive region that includes over one third of the entire state’s workforce and is geographically much bigger than the official service area of any one college; and 3) to jointly pursue grants and other funding opportunities to address workforce development needs of central Arkansas.
About Arkansas Two-Year College Regional Consortia
The Arkansas Association of Two-Year Colleges (AATYC) is a private, nonprofit higher education membership organization serving the educational needs of two-year college students and the busi­ness/industry needs of the State. AATYC represents all twenty-two (22) public two-year colleges in Arkansas. The Association facilitates the sharing of ideas, resources, and opportunities among its members, and advocates on behalf of members’ students.
About Metro Little Rock Alliance
The Metro Little Rock Alliance works with businesses and other economic development organizations in central Arkansas area to cultivate growth and prosperity in the region's communities. The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis lauded Central Arkansas’ regional approach, calling the Metro Little Rock Alliance and Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce “critical in working together to create jobs.” This effort has played a key role in the region’s unprecedented economic development success over the past five years, accounting for over $1.2 billion in new capital investment, $380 million in new annual payroll, and over 10,000 new jobs. Major locations include LM Wind Power, Caterpillar, HP, Welspun, Cardinal Health, Stanley and Schulze Burch.

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