The Arkansas Department of Workforce Services (ADWS), the Northwest Arkansas Council and area chambers of commerce are teaming up to host an employer forum in Springdale focused on apprenticeship. Employers are welcome to attend the free event from 8:30 a.m. to noon April 25 at The Jones Center. Attendees will hear from employers from around…

The Arkansas Department of Workforce Services (ADWS), the Northwest Arkansas Council and area chambers of commerce are teaming up to host an employer forum in Springdale focused on apprenticeship.

Employers are welcome to attend the free event from 8:30 a.m. to noon April 25 at The Jones Center.

Attendees will hear from employers from around the state who will discuss their experiences with apprenticeship programs, learn about resources available to help start and sustain an apprenticeship program, and participate in Q&A sessions.

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) defines apprenticeship as an employer-driven, “learn-while-you-earn” model that combines on-the-job training, provided by the employer that hires the apprentice, with job-related instruction in curricula tied to the attainment of national skills standards. The model also involves progressive increases in an apprentice’s skills and wages.

“The purpose of the meeting is to increase awareness, interest and commitment among attending employers regarding utilizing registered apprenticeship as a workforce development tool for growing and retaining talent,” said Zoe Calkins, ADWS communications director.

Calkins said Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin will attend the event.

Employer panelists for the event include:

• Mike Rogers, Tyson Foods, senior director maintenance and refrigeration;

• Paul Kanneman, Simmons Bank, executive vice president and chief information officer;

• Larronda Rainey, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS), College of Nursing, director of RN-BSN program; and

• Bill Yoder, Arkansas Center for Data Sciences, executive director.

Other featured speakers include Lee Price, DOL state director for the office of apprenticeship and Randy Prather, program coordinator for the state office of apprenticeship under the Arkansas Department of Career Education.

Registration information is at this link.

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