ANC technology center unveiled Aug. 17
Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson said it was good to be back in Mississippi County. Gov. Hutchinson was the keynote speaker for the Arkansas Northeastern College's new Center for Allied Technologies' open house held Friday, Aug. 17.
ANC President Dr. James Shemwell welcomed the large crowd saying it has been a long time in the making.
The 90,000 square foot center actually decreases the college's overall facilities by 30,000 square feet by consolidating the Burdette Center, Harry L. Crisp Center, and the ACME Center with an estimated cost savings for the college of approximately $100,000 a year in maintenance.
The Center for Allied Technologies features the headquarters for the college's customized training force, The Solutions Group, including general purpose classrooms, electrical classroom and lab, mechanical classroom and lab, safety classroom and lab, HVACR classroom and lab, computer classroom, and large multi-purpose room as well as a world class welding laboratory. Area high schools will be served on the main campus for advanced manufacturing, welding, criminal justice, education and construction/carpentry.
Also featured in the new facility is the aircraft complex, combination non-destructive testing (NDT) and composites laboratory, and general purpose classrooms to fully accommodate ANC's Federal Aviation Administration, certified Aviation Maintenance program. Other related facilities include an aircraft apron, paint booth, tool room and compass rose.
The building design features a two-story-height aviation room, welding laboratory, and glass entrance tower to add to the building's distinctiveness and appeal.
The Center is the home to the newly created Arkansas Steel Academy (a partnership with the SMSgroup of Germany) and is scheduled to begin operations in 2019. By partnering with SMS, the Arkansas Northeastern College has become a satellite training hub for North America as a cost effective way to gain knowledge of cutting edge techniques in steel making and processing. The agreement between ANC and SMS group will allow companies to save the costs of overseas travel by providing a North American option for the renowned TECademy training.
The cost of the facility is approximately $14,400,000 including architectural and engineering fees. The new Center is supported by $1,805,500 of private donations.
Three distinctive features at the main entrance are a 52-foot vestibule tower, an entrance garden honoring the late John Correnti, and an international flag court featuring national flags, representing over two dozen corporate and private donors supporting the construction costs of the Center, including Japan, Argentina, Germany, Canada, and the United States.
Dr. Shemwell recognized donors, Board of Trustees, past Trustees, state delegates, local mayors, county officials, past ANC President John Paul Sullens, engineers, construction managers, and everyone who had a part in the new Center.
Senator Dave Wallace spoke briefly introducing Gov. Hutchinson commending the Governor for his work on behalf of the citizens of Arkansas, including tax cuts and his efforts to bring jobs to the state.
“He travels all over the world, bringing jobs back home,” Sen. Wallace said. “Thanks to our governor our high schools lead in high school computer programming.”
Sen. Wallace commended Gov. Hutchinson for what he has done for Northeast Arkansas including saving the area drug court giving young folks a second chance.
Gov. Hutchinson praised ANC and the new Center for Allied Technologies calling Mississippi County a critical link in the economy of the state of Arkansas.
"I came here for the announcement of the steel academy and this facility and it rained that day," Gov. Hutchinson said. "It rained on this trip, so if you ever need rain in Mississippi County, just call on me. I am glad to be back today. This is an incredible crowd. This shows the leadership in Mississippi County and their commitment to growth and education. I usually don't come twice for the same facility, but I did and I am glad I got to be here to see the completed project. Thanks for the opportunities you are giving the young people they would not have had without this."
He commended the leadership in Mississippi County.
“We have a renewed emphasis on workforce education,” he said. “When I became governor we had 50 high schools with no access to career training. It has been reduced to 17. This fits the model. It is available to high schools, students can get concurrent credit, geared to industry and the young people can have a job. It is important to the state. Today because of everyone our unemployment rate has been reduced from 3.l8 to 3.7 percent."
Gov. Hutchinson said he wants people to move to Arkansas where the jobs are. He talked about the tax exemption to encourage retired military families to move to the state.
He went on to praise ANC for career training offered through the program.
He finished by talking about the importance of mothers and fathers being able to work and have good jobs to support their families in the communities they choose to live in.