Director's Message

Greetings friends!

As I have stated in the past, career and technical education holds the keys to the future of our great nation.  I believe no statement is more accurate. Or critical.

Today it is imperative that we join hands with business and industry, with our students, with educators on all levels, and with community leaders--IF we plan to equip a workforce capable of meeting needs that our business and industry partners are literally screaming to attract!

Positions in NEA are not being filled.  Some manufacturers have even discussed developing their own training schools to train workers to meet their needs, while some corporations have already done this.  How sad!  Simply stated, that means education is not meeting their needs.  Great career positions are being overlooked.  So you ask, what is the answer?

Career and Technical centers MUST align their programs of study with area business and industry so that the skills gap is minimized and more students are leaving our schools with the skills business and industry must have to not only survive--but to THRIVE.  The American economy depends on US, let alone the global marketplace.

As a result, NEA Career and Technical Center has added Industrial Technology, a program of study developed after many discussions with NEA industry to meet the needs for skilled industrial maintenance technicians.  This fall, we are adding a full program of study in Welding Technology to assist our industrial partners with skilled welders for positions across NEA.  And I promise you that the journey will not end here.  We will continue to seek input from industry as we move forward.  Every attempt will be made to either realign existing programs of study to meet specific needs or we may have to make difficult decisions to replace some programs of study as we further determine needs in the marketplace.

As proof of our skills attainment, is SkillsUSA state competition at Hot Springs.  You will witness creative abilities and skills acquired by students across our great state.  You will sense excitement and competitive spirit in the air.  NEA Career and Technical Center will continue to be well represented in state competition.  Our state champion banners that adorn our center entrance are academic, skills-based, and it is evidence of the impact our center is making to decrease that skills gap in Northeast Arkansas.

At the mid-week SkillsUSA awards ceremony, the crowning moment rings throughout the massive complex.  "Representing the Northeast Arkansas Career and Technical Center...," the announcer continues with the names of our students.  Now, if this doesn't bring a special gleam in your eye as their leader, something is indeed wrong.  This is without a doubt our mission.  Provide opportunities for our students to become skilled to meet the demands of our business and industry partners.  Then, shine for all to see in statewide competition! 

At NEA Career and Technical Center, we have so many great offerings.  State of the art programs of study and solid, skills-based courses offer national certifications to our students, meaningful concurrent credit with Arkansas State University in Jonesboro, and modern technology that will acclimate students to the modern workplace.

Encourage your student to learn more about career and technical education.  We hold the keys to the future.  As one of our graphic arts students coined for a student-created and designed promotional brochure, "Technically, everyone needs us."  I could not have better stated that myself.

We look forward to seeing you in our center soon.


Eddie Crain

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