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From the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette:

Be Pro Be Proud has scheduled four tours across Arkansas beginning in March to connect employers with students who have been matched for specific industries.

Be Pro is a mobile job-training workshop that offers hands-on experience to promote careers in skilled trades.

Employers can register through Feb. 15 and participating companies will have the opportunity to interact with students to create a talent pipeline.

The vehicle will visit Rogers High School from March 6-10; the Peak Innovation Center in Fort Smith from March 13-17; the Grand Prairie Center in Stuttgart from March 28-30; and Nettleton High School in Jonesboro from April 10-14.

High school seniors and two-year college students will be matched to employers interested in hiring individuals for open technical positions.

The effort is geared to help students identify opportunities that don't require a college degree but offer long-term careers with well-paying jobs in industries that include the construction, manufacturing, transportation and utility sectors.

"Though we are experiencing a national shortage of skilled trades professionals in our workforce, through our program we have commitments from nearly 5,000 qualified students interested in pursuing technical professions," said Andrew Parker, the executive director of Be Pro Be Proud. "Now is the time for our employers to help support the next generation of talented trade workers."

The tour is sponsored by the Society for Human Resource Management. Registration and more details are available at