SPRINGDALE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — A new organization, Upskill NWA, is launching to train and equip low-income workers for new career opportunities.
The Excellerate Foundation has joined with Walton Family Foundation to start the nonprofit, Upskill NWA. The two foundations committed $3 million to start the organization. Justin Fletcher, vice president of programs at Excellerate Foundation, said the nonprofit will help boost people’s careers.
“It will provide a path to higher wages for lower-income families and also to address very important employer and employee gaps in our highest demand industries,” Fletcher said.
Upskill NWA will start training workers for health care careers and the program will eventually also include IT and manufacturing training. The nonprofit will officially launch in January 2022.
The program was announced at NWA Council’s annual meeting Thursday. It will target workers who are marking less than $50,000. Upskill will also partner with local hospitals, Northwest Arkansas Community College, and Northwest Technical Institute to provide training to the workers.
Fletcher said the new nonprofit could change lives.
“The need for the program is immense and the impact that could have on raising the fortunes of those families while also addressing the industry’s needs for vitals workers is intense,” Fletcher said.
After the first three years of the program, Upskill NWA will become its own nonprofit.