West Fraser Donates $150,000 to ASU Three Rivers in Workforce Training Partnership
MALVERN, Ark. – Arkansas State University Three Rivers has been gifted $150,000 by timber company West Fraser to enhance workforce training facilities on the campus.
The two entities first established their partnership in 2017, when ASU Three Rivers began providing leadership training for the four Arkansas West Fraser mills. As a result of the success of that training, the partnership grew to developing West Fraser’s millwrights and electricians. The college provides the West Fraser Qualified Millwright and Electrician Training Program for West Fraser employees in the South.
“At West Fraser, we value our relationship with ASU Three Rivers and recognize the important role it plays in developing people, providing skilled graduates and building a successful community by offering programs that are accessible and responsive to the diverse needs of students, business and the region,” said Chester Fort, Vice President of U.S. Lumber at West Fraser.
Mason Robinson, ASU Three Rivers workforce development director, said, “Our partnership with West Fraser is the perfect example of how business and industry and higher education can work together to develop the workforce and community.”
Three Rivers plans to use the funds to renovate the El Parian building, where it will relocate the adult education program now located at the Workforce Center (formerly Smith Elementary). The campus also plans to incorporate more workforce development training space into the new renovation.
“This is an exciting day for ASU Three Rivers,” said Chancellor Steve Rook, adding that the partnership was the seed that helped the workforce development program grow into such an important facet of what the college now has to offer—both to students, and to businesses and organizations whose employees receive essential instruction.