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2022
March 15, 2022

Draft Day 2022 Strategically Pairs Qualified Students with Employers

Draft Day 2022 strategically paired graduating seniors currently enrolled in CTE courses in northeast Arkansas with employers ready to hire them upon graduation. Be Pro Be Proud Draft Day was held from 8:30 AM until 5:00 PM, at Jonesboro High School. Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, more than 30 participating companies, and more than 200 high school seniors participated. “The seniors are doing interviews, they’re finding out what their career path will be like with different companies,” Hutchinson said. “The companies need good, skilled workers and it gives them opportunities to recruit some of the top talent coming out of our career centers and high schools.”

January 24, 2022

Be Pro Be Proud Announces 2nd Mobile Workshop to Tour in Tandem with the 2nd Generation Mobile Workshop

Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced the approval of a $1.4 million grant to add a second Be Pro Be Proud mobile workshop for jobs development and recruiting. The grant comes from the Arkansas Office of Skills Development.

2020
December 1, 2020

Be Pro Be Proud Expands to South Carolina

Modeled after the Arkansas Be Pro Be Proud initiative, Be Pro Be Proud SC is a workforce development project designed to close the skills-gap in South Carolina and remove the stigma from “blue-collar” jobs with the goal of educating students and the public on the appeal and the importance of these jobs for our economy.

July 23, 2020

Be Pro Be Proud Expands to Georgia

The Cherokee Office of Economic Development (COED) announced the launch of Be Pro Be Proud Georgia – an initiative to bring a new generation of pride, progress, and professionals to Cherokee, metro Atlanta, and Georgia’s skilled workforce.

2019
September 5, 2019

Be Pro Be Proud Initiative Launches Second Mobile Workshop

This morning (Sept. 5) at the Arkansas Statehouse Convention Center, the Arkansas Be Pro Be Proud Initiative unveiled its second mobile workshop. Set inside of a 78-foot double-wide tractor trailer, the Be Pro Be Proud organization hopes to use the new mobile workshop as a proving ground for high schoolers who have an aptitude for work in the trades. Among the speakers at the event were Governor Asa Hutchinson, Senator John Boozman and Scott Moore, the chief administrative officer of Union Pacific, one of the largest contributors to the Initiative.

September 5, 2019

Be Pro Be Proud Unveils 2nd Generation Mobile Workshop

After the success of the initial Be Pro Be Proud workforce initiative, an additional Be Pro Be Proud Mobile Workshop began touring to encourage Arkansans to consider technical training and provides opportunities, including training and workshops, for students, job seekers, employers and more.

2016
March 11, 2016

Arkansas State Chamber Of Commerce Announces 'Be Pro Be Proud' Workforce Initiative

Little Rock, AR – The Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce and the Associated Industries of Arkansas (ASCC/AIA) recently announced the launch of a new initiative, “Be Pro Be Proud,” to bring a new generation of pride, progress and professionals to Arkansas’s skilled workforce. Today’s skilled professional workforce is aging out and the next generation of new talent is not sufficient to fill the demand. Nationwide, there are an estimated 5.6 million job openings, with approximately 60,000 of these openings here in Arkansas. The majority of these are in high skilled technical fields. The initiative targets many key audiences including high school and nontraditional students, current skilled professionals, legislators, parents, teachers, career coaches and employers to dispel the myths about skilled trade professions, showcase current skilled professionals’ true vocational pride, highlight the many career opportunities available within these trades and provide necessary resources and training to those interested.

March 11, 2016

Be Pro Be Proud Launch

The Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce and the Associated Industries of Arkansas (ASCC/AIA) announced the launch of a new initiative, “Be Pro Be Proud,” to bring a new generation of pride, progress and professionals to Arkansas’s skilled workforce.

March 9, 2016

State effort aims to fill skilled jobs

Thousands of jobs are available in Arkansas with salaries above the state's average income but there are not enough qualified workers to fill them, state leaders said Tuesday. Gov. Asa Hutchinson and representatives from the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce, the Delta Regional Authority and Wal-Mart announced the start of an initiative, "Be Pro Be Proud," to tell Arkansans of the relatively high-paying jobs. "A skills gap, generally defined as the inability of companies to attract and retain qualified, highly skilled employees, has widened with increasing speed over the past several years," said Randy Zook, chief executive officer of the state Chamber of Commerce. "Companies have jobs they cannot fill while people cannot find jobs they want and can do. The gap impacts companies large and small from the Delta to Northwest Arkansas." Hutchinson said he's an advocate for training the state's workforce to reduce the skilled-trade jobs gap. "I encourage everyone to be a part of the 'Be Pro Be Proud' movement," Hutchinson said. "It shows that we are serious about educating parents and young people about these career paths that are essential to our state's economic growth." The older generation of skilled workers is retiring, and that's the big reason for the jobs gap, Zook said.