By Billy Ray McKelvy

Several local organizations will be hosting a conference in Hope to acquaint eighth grade students with the need for trained manufacturing jobs in southwest Arkansas.

Explore Success, a youth manufacturing conference, will be held Oct. 16, at Hempstead Hall on the campus of the University of Arkansas Community College at Hope. After years of stressing the importance of attending college, these groups want to make students aware that there is a need for a skilled workforce in manufacturing.

The event will enable students to learn the requirements for successful manufacturing careers from industry and manufacturing leaders.

Students will be hearing from a motivational speaker and another speaker who will stress the importance of soft skills.

Students will also get to meet industry representatives who are seeking a skilled workforce for the future. Eighth graders are targeted because it is the time when students and parents begin thinking about student success plans.

Invitations are being sent to schools in eight southwest Arkansas counties. Sponsors for the event are the Southwest Arkansas Development Alliance, AEP-SWEPCO, Southwest Arkansas Education Cooperative and UACCH.

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