Be Pro Workshop, a touring workshop, will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 30 at the Conway Adult Education Center, which intends to inspire more Arkansans to consider skilled professional careers.

The Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce and Associated Industries of Arkansas (ASCC/AIA), in partnership with Gov. Asa Hutchison, state agencies including the Arkansas Economic Development Commission and the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services, the Delta Regional Authority, Wal-Mart and others, recently announced the launch of a statewide workforce to achieve the initiative.

A key component of this initiative is a touring Be Pro Workshop which will encourage student participation in construction, trucking, manufacturing and other specific roles. The workshop includes interactive work stations that engage students in several skilled professional careers through gaming, rich video and more.

Arkansas’ skilled professional workforce is aging fast, leading to a growing gap in finding Arkansans to fill these positions.

There are an estimated 5.8 million job openings in the U.S. today.

Approximately 60,000 of these openings exist in Arkansas with the majority being in highly skilled technical fields.

This gap in our state’s employment can be directly attributed to a lack of knowledge, interest and preparation for these opportunities among younger generations.

Arkansas’ future will depend on changing the perception of these career options and highlighting the many opportunities available within these sectors.

Only one in three parents say they would encourage their children to pursue technical careers, despite the advanced skills and high pay characteristic of the existing opportunities within these industries.

Offering Arkansans new insight into the skilled professional workforce requires a team approach that includes employers, schools, elected officials, students and parents who recognize skilled professions for the financial and rewarding career opportunities they are.

Be Pro Be Proud is free and open to the public. For more information on the mobile tour, call 501-450-4810, visit the Conway Adult Education Center’s website at or Facebook page at "Conway Adult Education Center."