MONTICELLO, AR — Staff members from the University of Arkansas at Monticello, including Tawana Jones-Greene, executive director of admissions and enrollment management, Dorissa Kaufman, director of adult education at the UAM College of Technology-McGehee, and Denisa Pennington, grant manager for the Workforce Alliance of Southeast Arkansas at the UAM College of Technology-Crossett, recently joined educational and economic leaders from throughout southeast Arkansas at the ACT Work Ready Communities Academy in Dallas, Tex.
The two-day training session was the fourth in a series designed for "leaders who want to move aggressively forward into a 21st century approach to work readiness and economic development," said Pennington. The Academy is a 12-month program that state and local WRC leadership teams use to initiate statewide efforts to increase the number of counties certified as work-ready. "The goal is to demonstrate to current and future employers that southeast Arkansas is willing to go the extra mile to equip our workforce with the skills employers demand," said Pennington.
The Workforce Alliance of Southeast Arkansas was established through grants awarded to UAM from the Arkansas Department of Higher Education and the Delta Regional Authority. The combined regional team from Ashley, Bradley, Desha, Drew, and Lincoln Counties consists of economic developers, administrators from UAM, public school districts, adult education programs and business and industry owners and managers.
Workforce Alliance teams from each county are:
Ashley County: Mike Smith, executive director of Crossett Economic Development; India Holt, owner of the Holt Auto Group; Barbara Garner, assistant superintendent of the Crossett School District; Tracy Streeter, assistant superintendent of the Hamburg School District; Nick Adams, principal of Hamburg High School;
Bradley County: Bethany Brukardt, human relations manager for Potlatch Corporation; Angela Scroggins, high school counselor for the Hermitage School District; Kristin Weeks, workforce coordinator for the Southeast Arkansas Community-Based Education Center;
Desha County: Eddie Thomas, WIOA regional manager of the Southeast Arkansas Economic Development District; Sommer Frazer, literacy director at McGehee High School; Dorissa Kaufman, director of the UAM Adult Education Program;
Drew County: Nita McDaniel, executive director of the Monticello Economic Development Commission; Tawana Greene-Jones, executive director of admissions and enrollment management at UAM; Chris Pace, retired coordinator of Adult Education WAGE;
Lincoln County: Jon Laffoon, superintendent of the Star City School District; Mike Walker, principal of Star City High School; Gina Richard, Star City STEM coordinator and principal of Star City Middle School; and Nathan White, director of student services for the Star City School District.
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