Get Involved

Business and Industry are vital partners in what our agency does.  There are many opportunities for businesses to be involved in our agency and there are many ways our agency can help Arkansas businesses. If you want to be involved or are needing assistance, please look at the topics below for more information.

I want to work with a client in a training experience.

The term “on-the-job training” (OJT) means training by an employer that is provided to a paid trainee while engaged in productive work.  This training will provide knowledge or skills essential to the full and adequate performance of the job. In determining the length of the training, consideration should be given to the skill requirements of the occupation, the academic and occupational skill level of the trainee, the prior work experience of the trainee, and the individualized plan for employment, as appropriate.

Find out more about OJT

What do other businesses say?

Your bottom line is our top priority. Profitability is driven by higher morale and employee engagement, which research has shown to be found in the inclusive culture of very successful companies. Employees with disabilities often have well-honed problem-solving skills and a degree of adaptability that are especially valuable in today’s fast-changing business environment.

Learn what a major national employer has to say about ARS business services

I need assistance in accommodating an employee with a disability.

Stay at Work/Return to Work (SAW/RTW) staff is available to assist employers by identifying accommodations that work.  These “accommodation specialists” focus on what an employee can do or is capable of doing with the right accommodation.  By working hand-in-hand with the employer and employee, new or different ways of successfully performing work tasks can be identified either by adjusting how specific tasks are performed or introducing the use of different technologies or equipment to assist in task completion.  

Find out more about Stay at Work/Return to Work

I want to know how businesses offset the cost of training incoming or incumbent workforce.

Companies are continually looking for ways to enhance their workforce in an effort to become more effective and efficient thus increasing revenue and profitability. One way to reduce the costs associated with upskilling your workforce would be to apply for a workforce training grant through the Office of Skills Development. A company that operates in the state of Arkansas can receive assistance with funding through the Office of Skills Development Workforce Training Grant Program. This program allows a company or organization to receive up to 75% of the costs associated with training its workforce to be reimbursed once the training has been completed. To learn more about this program please visit the . . .  

Office of Skills Development Workforce Training Grant Program

How can my company collaborate with an agency to provide workforce training for a specific occupational certification or credential that is in high demand?

The Integrated Education and Training (IET) programs provide adult education and literacy activities concurrently and contextually with workforce preparation activities and workforce training for a specific occupation or occupational cluster for the purpose of educational and career advancement. In addition, as part of a career pathway the design of an IET program supports the local and state workforce development board plans as required under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). Adult education programs can provide two of the required components: adult basic education and literacy and workforce preparation activities. However, business and industry partners can provide the workforce training credential that meets the third component required by WIOA.

How can I find applicants for my business that are ready to work?

The Arkansas Adult Education Workforce Alliance for Growth in the Economy (WAGE™) program is designed to ensure job readiness for unemployed and under-employed Arkansans. The program provides the basic academic skills necessary to become employed and stay successful in the workplace. WAGE™ alliances include employers, Advisory Councils, Employment and Training Agencies, and Industrial Development Foundations. These WAGE™ alliances work to identify and provide basic academic skills training essential to their local program area. WAGE™ students can earn up to six certificates to include Bank Teller, Customer Service I and II, Employability Skills, Industrial, and Office Technology.

How can I assess the skills gap of my employees?

A literacy task analysis (LTA) determines basic skills and thinking strategies needed to perform a specific job task. A customized curriculum is determined based on the frequency and importance of basic skills to critical job tasks in the LTA. Contextualized lessons are developed based on the use of applied basic skills used in specific workplace scenarios with real workplace materials.

Where can I find speaking and writing training for non-English speaking employees?

English Language Acquisition (ELA) includes adult education and literacy activities for English language learners with an additional skill requirement, comprehension of the English language. The primary goal is the development of knowledge and skills enabling students to obtain, retain, or upgrade their employment status. Programs are conducted within flexible time limits, are relevant to the practical needs of adults, and teach the skills and knowledge necessary for self-sufficiency and employment.

Are there training programs for current employees?

Workplace Adult Education and Literacy Activities include instruction at a workplace or an off-site location that is designed to improve the productivity of the workforce. Instruction will include contextualized literacy, English language acquisition, and workforce preparation at Educational Functioning Levels appropriate to learners. Successful workplace literacy activities involve strong partnerships with employers or employee organizations in the design and delivery of the instructional program based on workplace needs.

How can a business be involved in creating curriculum for secondary Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs?

Businesses and individuals from industry can serve on frameworks development committees that help shape curriculum for Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs across the state as well as serving on CTE Advisory Committees at the local level to help shape curriculum and resources in local programs. There are also Regional Advisory Committee meetings held annually in all parts of the state. Industry representatives may also be involved in providing specific training to secondary teachers through state delivered professional development coordinated by the Arkansas Department of Career Education.

How can a business support students in a CTE student organization (Deca, FBLA, FCCLA, FFA, HOSA, JAG, SkillsUSA, TSA)

Businesses can support CTE student organizations in a non-financial way by providing judges and expertise at local, district and state competitions. Industry partners can also assist local programs by helping provide the technical resources to train and prepare students for competitive events.

Are there opportunities for CTE students to do internships in my business?

The Arkansas Department of Career Education provides the structure for CTE programs to partner with local businesses to provide internships for students while in High School. Students can earn graduation credits for these internships while earning valuable skills and creating a resume.

How can students receive a Career Readiness Certificate?

Local schools may request access to the Work Keys 2.0 curriculum. This curriculum prepares students to take the Career Readiness Certificate. Contact the Curriculum and Career Guidance office for more information.

Are soft skills being taught at the high school?

Every framework through Career and Technical Education has a soft skill indicator.

How do I have a student to job shadow?

Contact your local high school administrator-superintendent, principal or vice principal, and request setting up a partnership with the school.

How can business and industry help increase the STEM worker pipeline?

Businesses and industry can help increase the STEM worker pipeline by interacting with schools to provide resources and expertise. For example, STEM businesses can engage students by encouraging their experts to visit students in the classroom to expose students to the benefits of STEM careers. Businesses can also provide work-based learning experiences for students. The experiences can help students understand the day to day work of the business, and how classroom work relates to the successful operation of the business.

How can business and industry support the Technology Student Association?

The Technology Student Association is a Career and Technical Student Association that encourages and promotes student activity in STEM fields. The organization structures a National Conference, and at the state level provides avenues for students to compete and display their work in computer science, drafting and engineering, music production, game design, and other high tech areas. Businesses can support the organization by providing judges at local and state competitions, and interacting with students to share their expertise.

What types of programs are supported by the ARCareerED STEM Office?

We support programs in Computer Science, Pre-Engineering, Biomedical Science, Unmanned Aerial Systems, and Automation and Robotics Technology. A student in these programs gain a foundational understanding of the discipline, complete authentic project-based work, and have the opportunity to gain industry-recognized certification.

How can our Business and Industry partners help provide educators with tools and resources?

Business and Industry partners can serve on panels at curriculum meetings and at Advisory Council Committee meetings. By participating in these areas, partners can offer useful information to guide and encourage teachers.

How can Business and Industry be involved in directing curriculum?

Our agency seeks and appreciates input from our Business and Industry partners to ensure that we are providing current skills, technology and information to our students. Partners may be asked to review standards, serve on panels at curriculum meetings, or possible visit classroom to provide more direct contact.

How can a secondary or post-secondary educational organization establish a recognized chapter in SkillsUSA?

Download the application to become a SkillsUSA chapter from the SkillsUSA Nationals web site. Complete the application and submit it to the national office. They will document the application and send a copy of the request to the SkillsUSA Arkansas State Director for approval.

How much does it cost to start a SkillsUSA chapter?

The cost to join the National SkillsUSA organization is free. Once students and teachers begin registering as individual members, membership fees apply per person at that time.

Whom do I need to contact at the state level regarding information dealing with the Trade and Industry program of study I teach?

Each program of study has a state advisor who is assigned to an area that they are responsible for in the Trade and Industry area. If you do not have a contact person in place, contact the Trade and Industry office at 501-682-1271.