Northark invests in associate vice president to energize business

Thu Jun 29, 2017 at 02:56 AM

A special board meeting was held on June 26 to discuss the addition of a new Associate Vice President of Workforce and Economic Development position at North Arkansas College (Northark). During the meeting, Trustees voted to add the position and will begin advertising soon.

Northark wants to find a new AVP as soon as possible to reach out to business and industry needs. The College has three vice presidents: Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Donna Wood, Vice President of Finance and Administration, Don Sugg and Vice President of Institutional Advancement, Dr. Rodney Arnold.

"The feedback I’ve heard time and time again is that this area is poised for serious economic growth but access to a skilled workforce is a major barrier,” says Northark President Dr. Randy Esters. “There are good jobs available right now and more will be available if we can train people to fill them. Our investment in workforce training is intended to send a message to all of the industries that want to grow in the Ozarks, or new companies that are considering a move to our area. Northark is open for business and willing to train or re-train a vibrant, skilled workforce. There's a huge demand for skilled employees and this step will begin to fill the gap."

The AVP for Workforce and Economic Development will provide vision and leadership for development and coordination of the service area career/occupational/vocational programs and develop partnerships and linkages with business and industry. He or she will oversee an educational unit that provides an array of workforce and economic development opportunities and customized training. 

The new AVP will be leading efforts in strategy, development, acquisition, and management of related external funding opportunities.

Last year, Northark was awarded a Regional Workforce Implementation Grant for almost $1M from the Ark. Dept. of Higher Education to boost the manufacturing and healthcare workforce. Northark was selected because of its innovative partnerships and collaborative work with regional industry representatives, educational partners, the OUR Educational Service Cooperative, the Northwest Arkansas Workforce Development Board and for Northark’s support of the local community. 

Just two months later, the college received $96K from Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation and Affiliates as one of 16 colleges in the nation selected to provide paid internships.   

The search committee plans to have a successful candidate to recommend to the Board of Trustees in August or September. Trustee David Evans was appointed to serve on the search committee. The complete job description will be advertised at

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.