Students compete at Skills USA Nationals

Jonesboro - Several NEACTC students competed at Skills USA Nationals in Louisville, Kentucky, the final week of June.

Instructors Dan West (Engineering & Production Lab), Chase Smith (Robotics & Automation Technology), Jeff Smith (Automotive Collision Technology), Brandon Turner (Computer Repair, Networking & Security) and Raelyne Massey (Hospitality), joined eight NEACTC students who were state champion winners at Skills USA state competition at Hot Springs in April.

The NEACTC team competing in Automated Manufacturing, Donovan Stockdale, Ethan Webb and Joseph Velasquez finished fourth in the nation. SUSA These graduating seniors are now enrolled in post-secondary engineering and machining programs.  Donovan is attending the University of Tennessee while both Ethan and Joseph are enrolled closer to home at ASUN.  Byron Koster also represented the Engineering Design & Production Lab program of study by competing in CNC Turning.  Byron has enrolled at Williams Baptist College.

CYOther students representing NEACTC at nationals included Christopher Yarch in Information Technology, Charles Mabry and Emrie Nelson in Mechatronics.  Charles is playing college football in Texas and studying Industrial Technology - Mechatronics while Emrie is a Junior enrolled in Welding Technology.CN_EN

Chandler Allison competed for the second year in Collision Repair Technology.  Austin Bennett also competed in Collision Repair Technology.  Chandler continues to work in his field of study as well while employed at Stadium Auto Body Midtown in Jonesboro.  Austin is a Junior enrolled in Auto Collision at NEACTC.CI_ZJ
 Two additional students qualified for national Skills competition but previous family vacation plans kept Cade Isom and Zach Jestings from competing in Additive Manufacturing in Louisville.

WP_DAWarren Poff also won state competition in Automotive Service as Auto Parts Specialist but was unable to advance since there is not a parts specialist competition at Skills USA nationals.

It was quite a successful year for students at NEACTC.  We are extremely proud of their dedication and expect continued success from these future leaders.

Congratulations and best wishes for the future!

2019 State Skills USA Winners Named

Hot Springs - A record number of NEACTC students have won medals in state competition held in April.

State Champion Winners (gold medalists) Include the following:
-Chandler Allison - Collision Repair Technology
-Cade Isom, Zach Jestings - Additive Manufacturing
-Byron Koster - CNC Turning
-Charles Mabry, Emrie Nelson - Mechatronics
-Warren Poff - Automotive Parts Specialist
-Donovan Stockdale, Joseph Velasquez, Ethan Webb - Automated Mfg.
-Christopher Yarch - Information Technology Service

State Runnersup (silver medalists) are:
-Austin Bennett - Automotive Refinishing Technology
-McKenzie Maxwell - HVACR
-Parker Wrenfrow - Collision Repair Technology

State Bronze Medalists included:
-Peyton Archer - HVACR
-John Barber - Automotive Refinishing Technology
-Colby Morgan, Johnathan Williams - Robotics & Automation Technology
-Zavier Roberts - Culinary Arts
-Leland Vail - CNC Turning

Congratulations to each NEACTC student for your efforts.  We are extremely proud of YOU!

A Word Regarding ASE Testing

Jonesboro - The testing window for industry professionals reopens at NEACTC, Fall 2019.

ASE testing is offered as a courtesy for industry professionals in Northeast Arkansas to obtain ASE re-certification through Prometric testing services.  However, the proctor assigned for testing schedules tests during the normal school year from September through May.  Unfortunately, NEACTC does not offer this courtesy testing service in the summer months of June, July or August.

If you are or have a technician that must re-certify during the summer months, you are encouraged to contact Prometric for other testing sites.  Prometric can be contacted at

PLEASE remember to plan ahead when scheduling ASE industry testing.  Thanks!

Arkansas HTEC Educator Conference Set

Jonesboro - NEA Career & Tech Center is set to host the first annual Arkansas HTEC (Haas Technical Education Center) Educators Conference.  This event is sponsored by HFO Phillips and will be held March 28th from 7:30AM until 3:00PM.

haasAttendees are invited to network and meet other instructors, administrators and advocates in the field of Advanced Manufacturing.  Instructor forums, partner presentations, manufacturing and higher education panel discussions are scheduled.

Registration and continental breakfast begins at 7:30AM.  Lunch will be provided and door prizes will be awarded at the conclusion to the conference at 3:00PM.

For more information, visit or contact Anna Smith at

First Manufacturing Day Successful Event

Jonesboro - October 4th has come and gone at NEA Career & Tech Center with the first ever Manufacturing Day event held on campus.  And if the reactions from speakers and attendees are any indication, this will indeed grow to become quite an annual event.

Industry speakers included Kenneth Jenkins, Martin Sprocket & Gear, Jennifer Morgan with Trinity Railcar, Camfil APC's Sandy Hogan and Brian Richardson, American Railcar's Mike Peters and Truitt Dowdy with ARDOT.  Several other industries attended including representatives with Arkansas Glass Container Corp., NEA Hydraulics, FMH Conveyors and Phillip's Corp.

NEACTC alumni speakers opened each shift to inform guests of their progress since graduation.  All attendees are attending college, training school and working in local industry.  Each noted how NEACTC had played a critical role in their lives.  "I was ready to quit school until I enrolled in the H-VAC program," said Carolina Robles, now attending ASU-MT and employed as an HVACR technician while she finishes her final two semesters of college training in HVACR.  "It truly changed my life."

Refreshments for each of the three shifts were catered by students enrolled in the NEA Career & Tech Center Culinary Arts program.  Lunch was also catered for all industry partners and alumni speakers.

Student demonstrations were held in four programs:  Advanced Manufacturing (NASA HUNCH CNC machining, laser engraving, 3D printing & design), HVACR (soldering & brazing techniques, electrical circuit wiring w/ thermostats & switches), Welding Technology (creating a complete product--cell phone holder in five minutes), and Industrial Technology (Amatrol lockout/tagout procedures on student fluid power trainers).

AC Student, NEACTC Win MATCO Tools
Jonesboro - Auto Collision Junior Chandler Allison has acquired numerous skills--and now, numerous tools at NEA Career & Technical Center.  Jeff Smith, NEACTC Auto Collision Instructor, was recently notified that Chandler's video entry was one of the winning entries in the Lincoln Tech/MATCO High School Video Contest & Tool Box Giveaway.

Chandler will receive a MATCO Toolbox with a starter set of MATCO tools valued at $1700.  NEACTC is also a big winner in the contest.  The Tech Center will receive a professional grade MATCO master work station and tool storage unit for the Auto Collision program valued at $21,000.

Recently, Chandler discussed submitting an entry with his AC instructor, Jeff Smith.  So, Chandler and Smith approached Steve Carson, NEACTC Advertising, Graphic Design & A/V Film instructor.  Carson pitched the idea to Wendy Cazares, a senior enrolled in Carson's course at NEACTC.  Wendy shot and edited a short video production as Chandler proceeded to explain how career and technical education has impacted his life and how this will impact his plans for the future.  And as they say, the rest is history.

Chandler is enrolled at Paragould High School and incidentally, has had quite a junior year at NEACTC, winning the state championship in April in Collision Repair Technology at Hot Springs during statewide Skills USA competition.

Wendy, a Jonesboro High School senior, also co-produced another award winning 30-second public service announcement video earlier this year.  Her submission captured third place honors during the February statewide month-long career and technical education awareness month.

Congratulations Chandler--and Wendy--for your outstanding work and for representing NEA Career & Technical Center in such a professional manner!  Special thanks to MATCO Tool and Lincoln Tech as well.

To view the video that Chandler and Wendy created click here

Students Earn State Championships, Medals
Little Rock, Hot Springs - Results are in and celebrations continue at NEA Career & Technical Center in Jonesboro.

While Health Science Technology students returned with numerous awards from state HOSA competition in Hot Springs, students in all other NEACTC programs of study continued their preparations for competing at Pro Start and Skills USA.  And needless to say, it was quite a successful year as students from seven programs of study walked away with the hardware--literally.

Students earned a total of 29 state medals.  Nine students won gold, seven won silver, and an additional thirteen walked away with bronze awards at state.  After tallying the results, NEACTC Director Eddie Crain stated, "This has been a phenomenal year for student achievement.  I am very proud of our students but none of this would be possible without the dedication of our instructional staff guiding and teaching those students."banners

Crain noted that it is critical that Arkansas Career Ed officials ensure competitions are held in all content areas so that secondary technical center students have a venue to showcase their skills.

"This year we have a new program of study in Industrial Maintenance created to meet the demand of NEA industry.  Although there is national competition, none was held at the state level in critical areas.  Students from our IT program had competed at Burdette in early February and after just four months of this course of study, students won 2nd and 3rd in regional mechatronics competition.  Therefore, we have reason to believe those students could have been successful competing at the state level--IF there had been competition held in mechatronics.  Nonetheless, it was an amazing year for our students and I could not be more proud of everyone involved," Crain stated.

ACAt the Burdette and Blytheville regional competition February 2nd, an additional seven NEACTC students earned competition medals.  Three NEACTC programs of study competed with each program of study earning medals.  An NEACTC student earned gold in Early Childhood (hands-on), the HST team won silver in the Medical Professions Quiz Bowl, and two IT students earned medals, with one each in silver and bronze.GR

At Little Rock, the four-member team representing NEACTC Hospitality and Culinary Arts each earned bronze medals and a total of $48,000 in scholarship offers for their efforts.

A hearty CONGRATULATIONS to NEACTC staff and students for your 2018 efforts!

To learn more about individual winners, competition and misc. photos, visit the official NEACTC Twitter site @NEACTC1.

Students Place at ANC Competition
Blytheville and Burdette - NEACTC students brought back the bacon recently while competing at Arkansas Northeastern College.  Actually, students brought back a first place trophy, a first place gold medal, five silver medals, and a bronze medal.

It was the first time that NEACTC students had participated in the competition known as the TOPS Challenge.  Students from northern Arkansas and southern Missouri made the trip to take part in the competition.

NEACTC Director Eddie Crain stated that he appreciated the opportunity to work with ANC.  "As I stated to Gene Bennett of ANC during the awards presentation ceremony at Burdette, 
we can accomplish much more when we work together."  Crain said that he also appreciated Sherri Bennett (ANC Director) and Michelle Bennett (ANC Assistant Director) for allowing NEACTC students the opportunity to compete.

quizAt the Blytheville campus, the team of Sydney Wood, Karen Lopez, McKenzie Wilson and Anthony Canizales (JHS) captured silver in the Medical Professions Quiz Bowl.  Team sponsors are RN's Lynn Wolfe and Gina Cornish.
At Burdette meanwhile, 
NEACTC student Esperenza Ruiz (Riverside) captured gold and a first place trophy in Early Childhood Hands-on.  She is enrolled in Ricky Barker's Advanced Manufacturing class.

Industrial Technology students Chandler Tate (Riverside) anCollin Ryan (JHS) placed in mechatronics.  Chandler won silver while Collin picked up the bronze medal.

The Industrial Technology program of study is in its inaugural year at NEACTC.  The program is taught by Johnny Tierce and was created after nearly 18 months of collaboration with business and industry partners, the Jonesboro Regional Chamber of Commerce, and both NEACTC and JPS administrators.  A partnership team was thus created, which visited several sites around the state as the program was under development.

Congratulations to NEACTC students and instructors for a job well done!


NEACTC Partners With Arkansas State Univ.
Jonesboro - NEACTC and Arkansas State University are partnering to offer concurrent credit through A-State in Computer Repair, Networking, and Security.  The course is being co-taught by Brent Wheaton of Jonesboro and Dr. Russell Jones of A-State.

The agreement was inked in December after multiple discussions.

"Actually the idea to offer concurrent credit came from Dr. Russell Jones, Chair of the Accounting and Computer Information Technology Department at Arkansas State University.  
Dr. Jones is on the combined advisory board for the Computer Repair, Mobile Apps, and Drones programs and stated that he would be willing to offer concurrent credit in our Computer Repair and Mobile Apps programs of study," noted NEACTC Director Eddie Crain.  Jones made the comments while attending the fall advisory board luncheon held at NEACTC.

The rest is history as the story goes.  This spring, students holding a high school GPA of 2.5 and either an ACT Aspire 428 reading score or an ACT composite and reading score of 19 each are eligible to enroll through Arkansas State University for concurrent credit.  Students will receive three hours of college credit in CIT Telecommunications and Networking for successfully completing the course.  Students also receive up to three hours of high school credit at the same time for its successful completion.

Crain noted the benefits of concurrent credit in the course.  "Students will have several options with concurrent credit.  The hours can likely be used as elective hours if students decide to major in something other than Information Technology and also, if they enroll at another university, more than likely the credits are transferable between higher ed institutions."

This fall, students meeting A-State eligibility requirements in the Mobile Apps program of study at NEACTC will be eligible for concurrent credit as well.  Details are being formalized.

A-State's Dr. John Seydel may co-teach the coding class in conjunction with Dave Holbrook, who also teaches drones (UAS) at NEACTC.

Students have an additional benefit to enroll in the Mobile Apps and Computer Repair classes at NEACTC as well.  High school students can earn their computer science required credit by passing either Mobile Apps or Computer Repair at NEACTC. 

NEACTC Enrollment Spikes Upward
Jonesboro - NEA Career & Technical Center has posted gains in student enrollment for the fourth consecutive year.

NEACTC Director Eddie Crain notes that, "It takes effort from every single member of our staff and the cooperation of our partner school district administrators for continued growth in our enrollment."  Crain attributed growth to partner schools that send their students by grade level to the center for spring tours.  "Those students are usually amazed at the opportunities that exist at our center."

Faculty and staff at NEACTC also does an excellent job in promoting the merits of their individual programs of study during those tours.  
hburg2And, it really helps when our partner schools, "Open up their gyms and auditoriums so that our staff members can begin the process of recruiting their students with a look at what is offered at NEACTC."

Student Affairs Counselor Sherry Bookout says that she truly appreciates area counselors collaborating with her to provide opportunities for area students to attend the center for specialized training.  "They work with me to set tour dates, they help me arrange times when Mr. Crain and I come to their schools to speak to their students, and they really spend time to schedule their students so that they can attend our center.  I think we all work together extremely well.  And, it really is appreciated."

NEACTC serves students attending from four Northeast Arkansas counties representing 13 area school districts:  Bay, Brookland, Buffalo Island Central, Greene County Tech, Harrisburg, Hoxie, Jonesboro, Nettleton, Paragould, Riverside, Valley View, Westside, and Walnut Ridge.