Free Job Training and Job-Search Help Available for Arkansans
Free job training programs offered through the U of A Professional and Workforce Development and Shorter College are now available for qualified Arkansans who want to return to the workforce or advance in their careers.
Arkansans can apply online on the Reimagine Arkansas Workforce Project website.
Job training will be funded through a $13,579,455.83 grant to the Arkansas Workforce Development Board and the Arkansas Division of Workforce Services from the U.S. Department of Education; training options will span 14 career fields. Those interested can find training in those fields listed on the Reimagine Arkansas Workforce Project website.
The U of A, state agencies, Shorter College and iDatafy LLC — project partners — will provide job training and job-search assistance to Arkansans who were economically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This coordinated effort will make it possible for qualifying individuals to participate at no cost.
Qualifying Arkansans can enroll in existing and new programs offered by U of A Professional and Workforce Development, a division of the Global Campus, or Shorter College. Funding is intended to benefit Arkansans who would find cost a barrier due to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are excited to partner with the U of A, Shorter College and iDatafy LLC to create, expand and increase access to short-term training opportunities in Arkansas,” said Eduardo Lemm, state project director for Reimagine Arkansas Workforce Project.
Free training and applications
Qualified Arkansans can choose from nearly 75 online training programs that meet grant-funding guidelines. Training categories include:
- Food Preparation and Serving
- Health Care
- Maintenance and Repair
- Project Management
- Skilled Trades
- Tourism and Hospitality
- Transportation and Materials Moving
To apply for training programs provided by:
- The U of A, use the online application on the U of A Reimagine Arkansas Workforce Project site.
- Shorter College, use the online application on the Shorter College Reimagine Arkansas Workforce site.
Arkansans are encouraged to apply for free training if they fit within one or more of following descriptions: unemployed, underemployed, new to the workforce and/or have no work history, a member of an underrepresented population, receive public assistance, reside in rural areas, a veteran, the spouse of a veteran, homeless, 55 years or age or older, previously incarcerated, have been paroled or are on probation.
To be eligible, applicants must be:
- Arkansas residents (or residents of a neighboring state who work in Arkansas)
- 18 years of age or older
- If male, registered for selective service (if you are not registered, you can register before applying) or exempt
- Eligible to work in the United States
U of A contribution
The role of U of A Global Campus is to help assess statewide skill gaps for in-demand occupations and develop and deliver short-term online training programs designed for quick entry into high-demand occupations. The Global Campus will develop online training programs and deliver training designed to help Arkansans return to or advance in the pandemic-era workplace.
“The U of A is committed to serving the educational needs of Arkansans, and that includes those who need workforce development to thrive economically during and after the pandemic,” said Cheryl Murphy, vice provost for distance education and head of the Global Campus. “The Global Campus provides workforce development expertise, instructional design services, technology services, media production services and assistance with marketing, recruiting and strategic academic development.”
Tara Dryer, senior managing director, said U of A Professional and Workforce Development, a division of the Global Campus, has worked with the state before on earlier workforce projects.
“Our resources stand ready to support the Reimagine Arkansas Workforce Project,” Dryer said. “People can take advantage of these training opportunities, at no cost to them, to help them re-enter the workforce or move into a higher-paying career.”
Shorter college contribution
Shorter College, located in North Little Rock, is a private, faith-based, two-year liberal arts college and one of the nation’s 110 historically Black colleges and universities. Historically, Shorter College is recognized for its service to underserved, low-income students. The college also serves people in the penal system and the most vulnerable in society.
Shorter College will be awarded $3,164,793 through the Reimagine Arkansas Workforce Project. It will help connect Arkansans with the college’s Entrepreneurial Studies Program and other training opportunities, which provides training to launch startups and boost entrepreneurial prospects in Arkansas. To see a list of their training programs, see the Reimagine Arkansas Workforce Project on the Shorter College website.
Upon successful completion of a training program, participants will be connected with iDatafy. Founded in 2011 and located in Little Rock, iDatafy will develop certified SmartResumes for training participants, making it easy for employers to search for talent and to confirm applicants’ training history. This will assist participants in finding employment.
About University of Arkansas Global Campus and Professional and Workforce Development: The Global Campus provides expertise in developing and delivering both academic and training courses and offers instructional design services, media production and assistance with program planning and marketing. U of A Professional and Workforce Development, a division of the Global Campus, is a hub for professional and workforce development programs and courses. For a complete list of services available, visit the U of A Professional and Workforce Development website.
About the University of Arkansas: As Arkansas' flagship institution, the U of A provides an internationally competitive education in more than 200 academic programs. Founded in 1871, the U of A contributes more than $2.2 billion to Arkansas’ economy through the teaching of new knowledge and skills, entrepreneurship and job development, discovery through research and creative activity while also providing training for professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the U of A among the top 3% of U.S. colleges and universities with the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks the U of A among the top public universities in the nation. See how the U of A works to build a better world at Arkansas Research News.
About the Arkansas Division of Workforce Services: The focus of the Arkansas Division of Workforce Services is to provide individuals the tools they need to enhance and sustain their employability. And, through the education and skills training offered to jobseekers, employers are reducing hidden costs associated with lost production time and turnover rates by hiring qualified workers.
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