Center for Robotics and Manufacturing Innovation grant approved

Center for Robotics and Manufacturing Innovation grant approved

Wed May 11, 2022 at 04:46 PM

Northark Center for Robotics and Manufacturing artist rendering

North Arkansas College was notified it will receive a $2M Economic Development Administration (EDA) American Rescue grant to construct an $8M state-of-the-art Center for Robotics and Manufacturing Innovation (CRMI) on its south campus. Additional funding to complete the project includes $3M from the State of Arkansas, $700K from Boone County Economic Development Committee (BCEDC), $773K in private and local grants and $1.7M from Northark.

The 32,500-square-foot CRMI building will house the manufacturing, machining, robotics, and electronics.  All the programs are currently located on the north campus.

“We’ve eagerly anticipated and worked toward this moment for several years,” Rick Massengale, Northark president said. “This award is the final piece of the puzzle that allows us to break ground and turn this dream a reality. This is not our award. It belongs to our community. This project was made possible by a host of business leaders, educational partners and legislators who have worked together to find solutions to workforce issues. We’re going to see a long-term impact made for our region and for our state by expanding our robotics and manufacturing workforce programs.”

Grant team members were former Northark President Dr. Randy Esters, Interim President Don Sugg, Rick Massengale, current Northark president, Trustee Scott Miller, Craig Campbell, president of BCEDC, Joe Willis, Executive Director NWADD, and Harrison Chamber CEO Bob Largent.  They joined forces with legislators Senator Scott Flippo, Representative Jack Fortner, Senator Breanne Davis, Representative Ron McNair, Representative Keith Slape, Mike Preston, Arkansas Secretary of Commerce and Governor Asa Hutchinson.

“The grant for North Arkansas College will expand Harrison’s ability to attract, create, and retain their workforce, and the support provided to the City of Cabot for the development of the Unity Health Hospital will allow more Arkansans to receive critical health care services in their community,” said Governor Asa Hutchinson. “I appreciate the commitment of Secretary Raimondo and the EDA’s assistance for these Arkansas communities.”

The City of Cabot, AR will receive a $1.9M EDA American Rescue grant to construct water, sewer, and road infrastructure to support development of the Unity Health Hospital.

This project is funded under EDA’s American Rescue Plan Economic Adjustment Assistance program, which makes $500 million in Economic Adjustment Assistance grants available to American communities. The Economic Adjustment Assistance program is EDA’s most flexible program, and grants made under this program will help hundreds of communities across the nation plan, build, innovate, and put people back to work through construction or non-construction projects designed to meet local needs.

North Arkansas College is committed to providing an educational and work environment for its students, faculty, and staff that is free from sexual discrimination including sexual harassment, sexual assault, and sexual violence. No form of sexual discrimination will be tolerated. See the full North Arkansas College Title IX Policy and Procedures for the specific definitions of sexual harassment and sexual violence, including examples of such conduct.