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NorthWest Arkansas Community College is ready to be a connector between students and employers alike.

“NWACC takes seriously its role as a community partner, and so we listen to what the industry feedback is, we listen to what students say they want, and somewhere in the middle we find the sweet spot for our curriculum,” said Megan Bolinder, executive director of International Trades School for Trail Innovation.

That’s why NWACC, which recently enrolled a record-high number of students, offers certifications of proficiency, technical certificates and two-year degrees in subject areas as diverse as health care, construction, computer science and culinary arts. It all comes with a price tag that’s a fraction of other higher education options, allowing students to try out different career options and advance to four-year colleges if they choose.

“NWACC and community colleges in general are one of the most economically feasible and wise decisions that students can make,” Bolinder said. “Whether that’s professionally, whether that’s economically, we want them to better their lives.”

The community college works with CareersNWA and other organizations across the region that all share the same goal: meeting the economy’s workforce needs and connecting students and jobseekers with well-paid, in-demand jobs. Aligning career and technical education programs with employer priorities is becoming an increasingly urgent concern, according to a recent study from the Walton Family Foundation.

Bolinder emphasized that students will find passionate and highly trained faculty at NWACC, as well as a variety of financial aid.

“You will find a place here, you will have faculty members who care, you will find staff who will be one stop shop for whatever your needs are,” she said. “We want you to be successful, we want you to be a lifelong learner, and we believe that this is where you can begin.”

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