HomeCommunitySenator Boozman visits Ash Flat, Ozarka’s Carpenter Technical Center

Senator Boozman visits Ash Flat, Ozarka’s Carpenter Technical Center

Senator John Boozman traveled to Ozarka College’s Carpenter Technical Center along with the future home of Emerson in Ash Flat on Tuesday.

As part of the Senator’s three-day, North Arkansas visit, Boozman and his team toured the new CTE facility, which will serve as a regional hub for workforce training for welding technology, automotive and diesel service, and industrial machining.  The Senator also welcomed a presentation from Emerson executives on the scope of the new Sharp County operation and collaborative efforts between the college and manufacturer.

“We were thrilled to host Senator Boozman and his staff at the Carpenter Center,” said Dr. Chris Lorch, Ozarka College provost. “We are very proud to showcase our workforce training initiatives and the real collaboration among our industry and economic development partners.”

The Carpenter Technical Center and Ozarka’s workforce training programs represent part of a much larger economic development effort in Sharp County and the surrounding region. In an effort spearheaded by Northeast Arkansas Intermodal Authority, Emerson, headquartered in St. Louis, announced a relocation of manufacturing operations to Ash Flat, Arkansas in 2020. The move will establish more than 245 new jobs in the Sharp County area.

In anticipation of Emerson’s relocation, Ozarka College applied for and received a $1.47M grant investment from Delta Regional Authority and the US Department of Labor for the expansion of technical training offerings. The workforce grant will expedite the implementation of high demand training programs and develop a strong workforce pipeline for the Sharp County region.

“Senator’s Boozman’s recent tour of Ash Flat is a testament to his ongoing commitment to education, economic development and the people of North Arkansas,” stated NEA Intermodal Executive Director Graycen Bigger. “The senator and his team were instrumental is securing critical resources for both of these historic projects, and we are grateful for his continued support. We look forward to hosting Senator Boozman in Sharp County again soon.”

Boozman’s visit marked an important stop on his recent tour of North Central Arkansas.  Engagements highlighted innovation, infrastructure investment, the Covid-19 pandemic response, and education.

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The Northeast Arkansas Regional Intermodal Facilities Authority (NEARIFA) was established through an Act 690 of the Arkansas State Legislature with the purpose of promoting multimodal assets and creating more and better employment opportunities for the region through the recruitment, expansion and retention of industry and business in each of its partnering entities.

Ozarka College is a comprehensive technical college, with locations in Fulton, Izard, Sharp and Stone counties. The College offers associate degrees, technical certificates and certificates of proficiency, as well as workforce training, continuing education and adult basic education.

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