Philander Smith Collegehas beenawarded a $851, 271Regional Workforce ImplementationG rant from the Arkansas Department of Higher Educationto fund the WorkforceInnovation Strategic and Economic PublicPrivate Partnerships Program (WISE P3). Th is initiative is the College ’s responsetothe urban issue of underemployment inArkansas and addressesskills gap s by providing training and education aligned to industry needs.
The Workforce Innovation Strategic and Economic Public Private Partnerships (WISE P3) Program aligns wit h ArkansasGovernorAsaHutchinson’scommitment to addressing the workforce education needs of the state in an effort to helpposition Arkansas as anaggressive competitor in the 21 st century economy. Incorrelation with the State’s long-term strategy, WISE P3 will offer a mix of portable certifications and two-year and four-year technical and applied degrees in the areas of computer coding, STEM, healthcare, advance manufacturing, and finance to address the key areas of need in this state’s workforce.
“Philander Smith College has long been a pipeline for talent in the state of Arkansas,” saidPSC PresidentRoderickL. Smothers, Sr. “This key initiative will allow us to further supportGovernor Hutchinson’s visionfor Arkansas asa powerful engine for economic growth and innovation. Through the WISE P3 Program we will forge partnerships to bridge the gap between academics and business enterprise. Additionally, we will be strengthenedtoenhance our academic offering s throughshort-term career and technical training to help address employment gaps on a moreimmediateand strategicbasis.”
The Regional Workforce Grant Program seeks to create a statewide, comprehensive structure enabling students in Arkansas universities, community colleges, and secondary centers to participate in career and technical education programs. Philander Smith College was 1 of 21 colleges and universities a cross the state that were awarded funds. In October 2015 , t he institution alsoreceived a Regional Workforce Planning Grantfrom the State of Arkansas in the amount of $83,400 .