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Ozark Campus to host ACR program at Chaffee Crossing for dislocated workers

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Through a partnership with the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program, Arkansas Tech University-Ozark Campus will offer air-conditioning and refrigeration (ACR) classes at Chaffee Crossing for dislocated workers.

Pending approval from the Arkansas Department of Higher Education, Arkansas Tech-Ozark will host classes for 25 students leading to an ACR technical certificate.

The ACR program, which will run for one year, will be funded by an Arkansas Department of Workforce Services grant that assists in paying for students’ tuition, fees and supplies.

TAA, a program of the U.S. Department of Labor implemented locally by Workforce Services, can pay for up to 156 weeks worth of classes to complete a technical certificate or associate degree.

Financial Aid Associate Director Justina Buck said, “This is a great partnership between Workforce Services and the Ozark Campus that’ll allow dislocated workers, whose jobs were sent out of the country, to stay in the area, receive quality retraining and get back out into the workforce.”

Since 2007, Arkansas Tech-Ozark has served more than 400 dislocated workers as a result of various layoffs throughout western Arkansas. More than 200 of those directly came from Whirlpool.

Students will apply through Arkansas Tech-Ozark, but TAA will help with the student selection process.

During its monthly meeting Thursday, the Arkansas Board of Trustees approved the off-site location at Chaffee Crossing.

Ken Warden, chief business and community outreach officer, said, “Through the assistance of Workforce Services and the commitment from Chaffee Crossing, we’re pleased to offer this educational opportunity. We appreciate the continued support of both of these agencies.”

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