Welcome to Arkansas State University!

News Article

Education Renewal Zone Works with Rep. Crawford's STEM Tour


JONESBORO – The Education Renewal Zone at Arkansas State University is working with U.S. Rep. Rick Crawford to conduct his second annual STEM and Manufacturers Tour, July 17-21.

ERZ will host the kickoff breakfast event Monday at Cooper Alumni Center, and Rep. Crawford will address the group of 30 educators before they begin their five days of stops in nine counties across the First Congressional District.

Here is the news release issued Thursday by Rep. Crawford's office:

Washington D.C. -- Representative Rick Crawford (AR-01) announced his second annual STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) and Manufacturers Tour in the 1st District of Arkansas. The kickoff event is Monday, July 17, and the tour concludes Friday, July 21. Approximately 30 educators will tour 14 factories total during the week-long tour.

Last year, Representative Rick Crawford led a group of approximately 20 1st District high school and community college educators on a tour of businesses and manufacturing facilities in Jonesboro, Paragould, Mountain Home, Blytheville, Osceola, Newark, Batesville, and Stuttgart.

"Every year we have 1st District students who graduate without jobs and leave, but at the same time, hundreds of technical jobs across the 1st District remain unfilled,” Representative Crawford said. “We have so many excellent, dynamic, and caring educators who want their kids to grow and succeed at home, and what we’re trying to do is connect those educators to future employers and continue to build an education to career ecosystem in rural Arkansas.”

Crawford hosted the first tour after realizing the disconnect between STEM educators and manufactures. A member of the Congressional Career and Technical Education Caucus, Crawford promotes and supports career and technical education throughout the U.S. Currently, there is a wide gap between jobs available in the field and workers qualified for the available positions in Arkansas. In fact, more than 82 percent of manufacturers report a moderate or serious shortage in skilled workers.

"Students across the 1st District have different aspirations and learn differently: our education system should reflect that diversity. Some students don’t want to attend a four-year college, while others do. For students of either path, STEM professions are increasingly in demand to meet the needs of our state economy, which is rapidly shifting to focus on information technology, advanced manufacturing, and bioscience. This tour is about leveraging STEM education to fill good jobs and to create an environment of opportunity in both our Delta and Ozark counties," said Crawford.

Schedule for Representative Rick Crawford’s STEM & Manufacturer Tour:

Monday, July 17th: Craighead County

8:30 a.m. - 9:15 a.m. Kick Off Reception at ASTATE
(Cooper Alumni Center, 2600 Alumni Blvd, Jonesboro, AR 72401)

9:30 - 11:00 a.m. Tour Camfil (3505 Airport Rd, Jonesboro, AR 72401)

12:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. Tour Frito-Lay (2810 Quality Way, Jonesboro, AR 72401)

2:45 p.m. - 4:15 p.m. Tour Trinity Rail (3100 Trinity Road, Jonesboro, AR 72401)

2:50 p.m. - 4:20 p.m. Tour Hytrol (2020 Hytrol St, Jonesboro, AR 72401)

Representative Crawford will speak at the Kick-Off Reception before traveling to Washington for votes. Groups will be led by Crawford’s staff.

Tuesday, July 18th: Stone and Independence Counties

 9:45 a.m. - 10:45 a.m. Tour Fiber Energy Products (4004 Blue Collar Ln, Mountain View, AR 72560)

1:10 p.m. - 3:40 p.m. Tour Future Fuel (2800 Gap Road, Batesville, AR 72501)

Groups will be led by Crawford’s staff.

Wednesday, July 19th: Arkansas County

9:45 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. Tour CAVU Aerospace (Stuttgart Municipal Airport 2000 Military Rd)

11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Tour Lennox (512 W Lennox Rd, Stuttgart, AR 72160)

1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. Tour Riceland (2120 South Park Avenue, Stuttgart, AR 72160)

Groups will be led by Crawford’s staff.

Thursday, July 20th: Greene, Randolph, and Lawrence Counties

9:15 a.m. – 11:15 a.m. Tour Tenneco Monroe (1601 Highway 49B, Paragould, AR 72450)

1:20 p.m. - 2:20 p.m. Tour Pocahontas Aluminum (2001 Industrial Dr., Pocahontas, AR 72455)

2:50 p.m. - 3:50 p.m. Tour Custom Pak, Inc. (160 Miller Dr., Walnut Ridge, AR 72476)

Groups will be led by Crawford’s staff.

Friday, July 21st: Mississippi County

9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Tour Nucor (7301 East CR 142, Blytheville, AR 72315)

2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. - Tour Big River Steel (2027 State Hwy 198, Osceola, AR 72370)

Representative Crawford will return from voting in Washington and will lead Friday’s groups.

                                                                     # # #