C4 board welcomes industry leaders to career center

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Local industry leaders got to see the progress of the Connect 4 program at a Wednesday luncheon.

Rodney Ellis, president of the Connect 4 board of directors, said industrial leaders and vendors who have partnered with the C4 program attended the luncheon to learn more about the curriculum and get a tour of the Carroll County Career Center.

“We had a good turnout,” Ellis said. “I think with all of the vendors we had a crowd of around 50 people. Probably 30 of those were industry people.”

He said the vendors with representatives in attendance were MSC, Fastenal, Kennametal, Phillips Corp-HAAS, Welsco and Searcy Tool. MSC provided lunch for the occasion, he said, and ABB has also partnered with the C4 program but was not able to attend.

“What we did was basically give them an overview of the curriculum to give them a view of what would be taught,” Ellis said.

He said Mike Rogers, the instructor of the Career Academy of Siloam Springs, presented information on the curriculum.

“He was the vision behind these tech schools and was there to give the overview of the curriculum,” Ellis said. “We also introduced the industry people and vendors to James Knight, the director of the C4 program.”

He said the vendors and industry leaders then had an opportunity to show their support for the program and discuss ways they could help.

“A lot of these vendors are helping not only with some of the packages going into the school as far as equipment,” Ellis said, “but also continued support, such as training for James, offering guest speakers, posters and those types of things.”

He continued, “We basically gave industry partners a chance to plug in by offering some type of support to help the school going forward since it’s the community’s school. We want to make sure it’s a flagship for the state of Arkansas.”

Afterward, Ellis said, the industry leaders and vendors were given a tour of the facility.

“We showed them all the progress that’s being made,” he said. “The HVAC lines have been run. The electrical is in progress, and Building B, which is the welding building, is about 95 percent complete. It’s almost ready.”

Ellis said he was pleased with the turnout for the event.

“It was a good turnout with a really good group of folks,” he said. “We’re excited for them to be working with the Connect 4 program.”

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