OZARK –– Arkansas Tech Career Center dedicated its new automation technology lab with a ceremony attended by ATCC administrators, Arkansas Tech University leaders, faculty, staff, students, community supporters and workforce partners on Thursday, Sept. 21.

ATCC is located behind Russellville High School. It is operated by Arkansas Tech-Ozark Campus.

Attendees were given an opportunity to tour the lab. Chef Amanda Jones and her students in the culinary arts program at the career center prepared refreshments for attendees.

Speakers included Pat Edmunds, director, Arkansas Tech Career Center; Bruce

Sikes, chancellor, Arkansas Tech-Ozark; and Leigh Burns Whiteside, chair, Arkansas Tech University Board of Trustees.

After receiving a $667,000 regional workforce grant, ATU-Ozark moved forward with its program development in automation systems technology. The program will help develop industry-focused career paths that align with workforce objectives set by local workforce development boards.

“Automation, and its supporting systems, is an identified career field sector which plays an important role in the economic opportunities available in our River Valley region,” said Sikes. “This automation lab is Arkansas Tech University, Arkansas Tech-Ozark Campus, and Arkansas Tech Career Center’s response in meeting these identified skills…supporting the entry level training required of our current and future industries in manufacturing.”

ATCC houses nine programs ¬¬–– automation systems technologies, automotive service technology, computer engineering, construction technology, criminal justice/law enforcement, culinary arts, cosmetology, health science technology, metal fabrication and logistics management.

The ATCC location in Russellville serves high school students from Atkins, Clarksville, Danville, Dardanelle, Dover, Hector, Lamar, Pottsville, Russellville, Western Yell County and Two Rivers.

For the current semester, there are approximately 760 students enrolled through ATCC.