Ozarka College was selected as a recipient of the State’s Economic Development Assistance Program (SEDAP) grant, a regional grant program through the Delta Regional Authority (DRA). Ozarka was awarded $183,000 toward a two-year workforce development initiative to expand and upgrade its nursing programs.
“The DRA grant will provide crucial funding to expand nursing education opportunities for our region,” said Dr. Richard Dawe, Ozarka College president. “Ozarka is proud to continue to be a leader in Arkansas in preparing LPNs and RNs for the workforce.”
The DRA investment will help address the shortage of licensed practical and registered nurses in the north central Arkansas region. Ozarka will utilize funds to enhance instructional quality and advance nursing simulation within the nursing curriculum to better prepare nurses in the rural service area. The project will also support increased access to nursing education by expanding offerings to include a night/weekend option at the Ozarka Ash Flat campus.
“The road to economic revitalization begins with strengthening a community’s infrastructure, supporting small businesses, and developing a workforce to meet local industry needs,” said DRA Federal Co-Chairman Dr. Corey Wiggins. “Delta Regional Authority’s $2.6 million investment will help boost seven projects in Arkansas communities to enable economic growth and preparing the region for a prosperous future.”
The DRA supported project will begin in January 2023. The grant program will support advanced nursing simulation equipment for training and initial salary support for a new faculty for the Registered Nursing program.
“DRA’s investment in Ozarka is an important step toward addressing the nursing shortage in the region,” said Dr. Josh Wilson, vice president of advancement. “Increased access and advanced offerings are the key to tackling this challenge. We are collaborating with industry and community partners to draw from our local talent pool and to strengthen our workforce pipeline.”
Delta Regional Authority (DRA) recently announced the $2.6M investment for 2022 will boost econom-ic development and improve the quality of life for Arkansas communities and residents. The investment will be matched by $7,778,196 in the region and will attract an additional $65,000 in leveraged private investment (LPI) into seven Arkansas communities. The seven new investment projects will improve water and sewer systems, update transportation infrastructure, and support workforce development in communities across the Arkansas Delta. These projects are expected to create or retain 106 jobs, train 168 individuals, and affect 3,359 families.
For more information about Ozarka’s DRA workforce development grant initiative, please contact Dr. Wilson in the Ozarka Advancement department at 870-368-2060 or [email protected].