ASU-Newport Awarded $1.1 Million in Workforce Grants for Transportation, Manufacturing Programs
NEWPORT, Ark. – Arkansas State University-Newport received a $1 million Regional Workforce Grant to support its transportation programs.
ASU-Newport received notice on July 8 that funds would be granted to purchase new equipment and improve facilities for its transportation programs including Commercial Driver Training and Diesel Technology, both located at the Newport campus.
ASUN’s Commercial Driver Training (CDT) program has been the elite transportation program in the state for many years. The need for skilled drivers became even more evident throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. ASUN already partners with Maverick trucking to train and graduate drivers every four weeks, graduating more than 100 drivers each year.
In addition to the CDT program, ASUN also offers Diesel Technology so students can learn how to repair diesel engines like the ones utilized by the CDT program. A portion of the one-million-dollar grant will be used to resurface the driver training range and add another diesel bay in the Diesel Technology lab.
“Transportation is a critical piece of our economy,” Chancellor Johnny M. Moore said. “ASUN has been a leader in transportation education for decades, but it’s even more pertinent today that we continue to support our workforce by training as many skilled drivers and technicians as we can. The Regional Workforce Grant will allow us to improve and expand our programs and support the demand for skilled and qualified graduates.”
ASU-Newport was also awarded two other grants to support its manufacturing programs. The Division of Higher Education awarded a Regional Workforce Grant in the amount of $100,000 to ASUN’s Welding program and $70,000 to its Advanced Manufacturing program. Both programs reside at ASUN-Jonesboro.
ASUN’s Academic Affairs office is still finalizing plans to allocate these funds. Some plans include purchasing new robotic and 3D printing equipment for Advanced Manufacturing and the addition of a welding fume extraction center for the welding lab.
“We are thrilled to receive these coveted dollars to support four high-demand programs,” said Dr. Typhanie Myers, ASUN’s Interim Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. “As demand grows for a skilled workforce, ASUN must continue to be innovative to meet the needs of our industry partners. These grants are vital in keeping our labs equipped with the cutting-edge technology our students need to learn and thrive. Thank you to the Arkansas Division of Higher Education for seeing the value in these programs and supporting our efforts to support Arkansas’s diverse workforce.”
Beginning in August, ASUN can start allocating these funds to the specific programs outlined in the grant award. For more information on these programs visit asun.edu.