Ozarka College will receive $437,000 from the Delta Workforce Grant Program through the Delta Regional Authority (DRA) to establish a Skilled Trades program and expand its Welding program at Ozarka’s new Technical Center in Mountain View, Arkansas.  The announcement, made by the Delta Regional Authority, is part of a $10 million investment in projects across eight states through the Delta Workforce Grant Program (DWP).   The grants address the employment and training needs of the local and regional workforce, created in collaboration with community partners and aligned with existing economic development plans and strategies.

“This significant investment from DRA is a major step in advancing the trades workforce in Ozarka’s underserved rural communities here in northcentral Arkansas. ” said Dr. Josh Wilson, Ozarka vice president of advancement.   “The DRA grant will complement the significant shared contributions from local industries, state agencies, and private donors in support of standing up the new technical center in Mountain View. ”  

The Mountain View Technical Center (MVTC) project has been a year in the making. The industry-informed and community-supported expansion of Ozarka’s workforce education in Mountain View comes after months of employer, high school, and constituent engagement to determine local economic and workforce training needs. The DRA funding will support acquisition of training equipment for startup of skilled trades and to expand capacity in welding and the renovation costs of the new center to house the two programs.  

“We projected a need for expanding welding in Mountain View based on class demand last year, but we also wanted to expand our offerings to better support our regional needs, ” said Marcus Orf, director of workforce education. “The overwhelming response from industry partners and local school officials as well as regional economic development agencies reflected a significant shortage of workforce in the skilled trades sectors. So, we went to work to move forward and this DRA grant is the match we needed to see this completed quickly for our region.”

The Skilled Trades program will include training for electrician, HVAC, plumbing, and basic construction. Upon completion of the one-year program certificate, Ozarka students will be prepared to enter the workforce directly with local employers and when applicable transition to their apprenticeship.

For more information about the new and expanded offerings at MVTC, please contact Director Orf at 870.994.0996 or marcus.orf@ozarka.edu (mailto:marcus.orf@ozarka.edu). If you would like to learn ways in how to support the MVTC project, please contact Dr. Wilson at 870.368.2059
or at
advancement@ozarka.edu (mailto:advancement@ozarka.edu).