DeWitt Middle School to Host Be Pro Be Proud Mobile Workshop

April 18, 2018

The Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce and Associated Industries of Arkansas (ASCC/AIA) launched a statewide workforce initiative aimed at educating and inspiring more Arkansans to consider skilled professional careers that is now in its second year of touring across the state of Arkansas. In 2016, 9,019 people visited the Mobile Workshop at 80 tour stops in 32 cities. In 2017, the Mobile Workshop is scheduled to visit 96 tour stops in 56 cities.

The Be Pro Be Proud Mobile Workshop encourages student participation in construction, trucking, manufacturing and other specific career opportunities. The Mobile Workshop includes interactive work stations that engage students in several skilled professional careers through gaming, rich video, and more. The Mobile Workshop will make an appearance in DeWitt on April 26, 2018 from 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. at DeWitt Middle School to help drive participation and interest in these skilled trades.

Arkansas’s skilled professional workforce is aging fast, leading to a growing gap in finding Arkansans to fill these positions. There are an estimated 5.6 million job openings in the U.S. today. Approximately 60,000 of these openings exist in Arkansas with the majority being in high skilled technical fields. This gap in our state’s employment can be directly attributed to a lack of knowledge, interest and preparation for these opportunities among younger generations. Arkansas’s future will depend of changing the perception of these career options and highlighting the many opportunities available within these sectors.

Only one in three parents say they would encourage their children to pursue technical careers, despite the advanced skills and high pay characteristic of the existing opportunities within these industries. Offering Arkansans new insight into the skilled professional workforce requires a team approach that includes employers, schools, elected officials, students and parents who recognize that skilled professions are rewarding career opportunities.