UAFS Wins at Fort Smith 'Signing Day'
Students from Fort Smith and the River Valley were celebrated on Friday, May 5, 2023, for their pursuit of furthering their education and commitment to serving the local community through the workforce.
The Fort Smith Regional Chamber of Commerce held its fifth annual Signing Day event at the Fort Smith Convention Center. The event recognized students for their work in the classroom and technical skills that will now translate to jobs in the Fort Smith area.
Emceeing Signing Day was Jason Green, United States HR manager for ABB. The company is a proud supporter of education and technical skills, a recent $1 million gift to the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith and its workforce development programs is just one example.
ABB supports UAFS and helps high school students gain valuable hands-on experience with equipment at the PEAK Innovation Center through the Western Arkansas Technical Center (WATC) program. Students enrolled in WATC earn concurrent credit at UAFS, and some of their hard work was on display at Signing Day.
“We’re not done, and the future is extremely bright for this region,” said Green as he described the collaborative efforts of businesses and schools in the area in the pursuit of building a continuous pipeline of talent.
More than a dozen students earning concurrent credit through WATC and nearly 20 UAFS students were recognized at the event. They all signed hiring paperwork and will soon enter the workforce with full-time jobs, internships, or apprenticeships.
Signing Day was book-ended by a job fair and networking event. More than 100 companies were in attendance. The event comes on the heels of Draft Day, held at PEAK Innovation Center earlier in the spring. Both events were geared towards filling positions in the workforce with local students ready to take the next step.
The following lists where UAFS and WATC students will be going for work:
- ABB: 8 WATC students
- ArcBest: 1 UAFS student
- Baptist Health: 7 UAFS students
- First National Bank: 2 UAFS students
- Johnson Dermatology: 2 UAFS students
- Kopco: 1 WATC student
- Mercy: 5 UAFS students and 2 WATC students
- Riggs: 1 WATC student
- SPF America: 2 WATC students