The Be Pro Be Proud program provided the opportunity to use advanced virtual and augmented reality to get hands-on experience working in a variety of technical fields to the students at Camden Fairview.
Be Pro Be Proud is a workforce development initiative led by the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce/Associated Industries of Arkansas (AIA) that aims to match students across the state with high-tech, high-paying careers by allowing them to live the experience through AR and VR programs.
Tour director for Be Pro Be Proud, Montrell Thornton, stated that the program enables the students to come across jobs beyond the purview of a traditional four-year degree.
“Everybody out here in society knows what the four-year world looks like, but they also need to know what the skilled world looks like as well. You know a lot of our industries now are in a situation where we have a desperate need to continue your lights stay on at your house, make sure you have your plumbing and your utilities stay on for your everyday life,” he said.
He talked about several skilled labor jobs offering “high end six-figure” salaries.
“We have over 150 sponsors throughout the state of Arkansas, and we’re trying to help the next students with those industries. So, those students that want to join an industry, we can show them that yellow brick road,” he added.
A 78-foot double expandable Be Pro Be Proud trailer incorporates twelve interactive stations featuring several virtual and augmented reality applications to enable the students to explore prospective careers.
The organization stated through a press release, “High schools play a crucial role in connecting students to education and industry, and Be Pro Be Proud is excited to partner with Camden Fairview in this movement. Be Pro Be Proud believes that working to replenish the declining workforce in manufacturing, utility, transportation, and construction industries will enhance the economic prosperity and opportunity in Arkansas.”
The Be Pro Be Proud mobile workshop has seen a footfall of over 100,000 visitors across 308 cities, and 571 tour stops since its inception in 2016.
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