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Our communities need skills to survive and thrive in future economies. In just ten weeks, we provide the Skills needed to Launch participants into new dreams and new careersSkills to Launch.

What is Skills to Launch?

Skills to Launch is a 10-week scholarship-based, hands-on program designed to provide technical skills and soft skills training to individuals 18 and older seeking a new career in one of several highly valued trades, such as Industrial Operations, Construction, Production Welding, HVAC, and Solar Panel Installation. We typically offer 3 cohorts each year, starting January, June, and September.

Program Overview

The Skills to Launch program offers several course tracks focused on careers within essential trades. Different from traditional college coursework, this program provides a compressed educational experience consisting of both technical and soft skills needed to be successful in today’s job market. The Skills to Launch program is a 10-week, highly focused program structured in an environment that combines collaborative classroom instruction and hands-on technical training. Students who successfully complete the program receive the skills and knowledge of industry standards for a specific trade. This, combined with the confidence and professionalism learned in the soft skills training, allows participants to launch themselves into a meaningful careers.

Through the Skills to Launch program, three broad goals are addressed: 

Workforce Development: This program seeks to develop a workforce that touches on many industries, companies, and organizations found in almost every community by developing the skills that employees need to be prepared and competitive in today’s job market.

Career Path and Skills Training: Our program trains individuals not only on the technical skills of a task but also “soft, transferable skills” such as effective communication, resume building, goal setting, financial literacy, job readiness, team collaboration, and other skills necessary to be competitive in the 21st-century marketplace.

Community and Economic Development: The jobs that participants pursue and accept upon completion of the program have desirable living wages, with real opportunities for advancement and pay raises. In turn, these employees will find stability and growth and contribute to the local community in significant ways, thus creating a multiplier effect in North Little Rock and the surrounding communities where these participants work and live. 

Application Process

  1. Completion of scholarship application
  2. Applications are reviewed by the program manager. 
  3. Interviews are scheduled for each applicant by the program manager.
  4. Interviews are completed.
  5. Applicants are notified of acceptance, waitlist, or denial.
  6. An official acceptance email notification is sent and includes information for OSHA-10 training, orientation, and expectations, including that the applicant should be eager to learn, be on time, work hard, be respectful, and be an excellent representative of the program.

Program Timeline

  1. Scholarship Application
  2. Interviews & Placements
  3. OSHA-10 & EPA Certification
  4. Soft Skills Development
  5. Technical Training & Real-World Experiences
  6. Employment Opportunities
  7. Cohort Graduation

A new cohort starts every January, June, and September.

Skills to Launch has been in operation since the Fall of 2020 and has graduated over 170 participants. This program has the power to transform lives by granting individuals the chance to start a career without a financial burden.


Job Placement Rate




Founding Partners
  • Office of Skills Development, Arkansas Department of Commerce
  • Diamond State Vocational School
  • University of Arkansas Pulaski Technical College
  • Habitat for Humanity
Funding Partners
  • Gilead Sciences Foundation
  • USBank
  • PPG Foundation
  • Office of Skills Development, Arkansas Department of Commerce
  • Microsoft TechSpark
Instructional Partners
  • UA Pulaski Technical College | Business & Industry Center
  • The Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub at Winrock International
  • Seal Solar
Community Partners
  • ACDS
  • Airco
  • Safe Harbor Financial
  • St. Joseph’s Center of Arkansas
  • Southern Bancorp
  • Caterpillar
  • Afco Steel
  • PPG
  • Global Manufacturing
  • First Orion
  • Apptegy
  • VCC
  • Dogwood Homes
  • Snow Construction
  • Delta Solar
  • Seal Solar
  • Middleton Heat & Air
  • Arvest
  • Caterpillar
  • Hydco
  • Alessi Keyes

This life-changing opportunity empowers participants to grow their skill set while fostering personal growth, forever altering the course of their lives.

“I know that I would not have gotten this far without this program. The program goes above and beyond, helping us with our resumes, how to ask the right questions, how to prepare for an interview and they also have great insight on a variety of things.”

Kristen Tweedle, Production Welding

“Throughout my time, I learned that attitude and self-initiatives will go a long way. I feel as if I grew a lot, I feel over the 10 weeks, my mind has elevated and matured to a point where I’m ready to get my life started and on track to accomplish my many goals.”

Drasen Clingmon, Carpentry

“I have learned a new skillset I had no familiarity with, and it has opened my eyes to a broad industry involving PLCs, pneumatics, and hydraulics. This program gives people a chance to learn practical skills despite where they are in their lives.”

Marvin Spencer, Industrial Maintenance

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible to participate in the Skills to Launch Program?

Anybody 18 and over is eligible to participate in the program.

How do I apply?

Go to arhub.org/skills-to-launch. Once you are on the page, you will click on the “Apply for a scholarship” button which will direct you to the application form. 

What are the next steps after I apply?

Upon completion of your application, we will reach out to schedule an interview with you. This interview serves as an opportunity for you to learn more about the program and for us to learn more about you – your story, your goals, and aspirations.

How long is the program?

The program runs on a 10week timeline, and we have 3 cohorts per year, starting in January, June, and September.

What tracks do you offer?

We offer a diverse range of tracks such as Industrial Operations, Construction, Production Welding, HVAC, Solar Panel Installation. We are also actively planning to introduce a culinary track in the near future. 

For the most up-to-date track offerings, please contact us.

Can I take more than one track?

No, participants can enroll in and complete one track of their choice within the Skills to Launch program. Our primary aim is to provide you with focused training on a specific track, setting you on a path toward a successful career. Therefore, we encourage you to carefully select the track that aligns with your career aspirations and goals, as you will have the opportunity to go through the program only once and graduate with the skills in your chosen track. 

Do I get paid?

No, you do not get paid to go through the program. However, it is important to note that there are no program fees either. The Skills to Launch program is entirely free of charge, providing you with valuable training at no cost.

What types of certifications can I expect to gain from the program?

As a participant in the Skills to Launch program, you will have the opportunity to obtain valuable certifications depending on your track.  

OSHA-10 Certification (for all participants except IT students): This certification is a fundamental requirement for workplace safety.  

EPA Certification (for HVAC students): If you are enrolled in the HVAC track, you will have the chance to earn an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) certification. This certification is vital for HVAC professionals, as it demonstrates your competence in handling refrigerants safely and responsibly. 

NABCEP PV Associate (for Solar students): Solar Panel track participants will have the opportunity to obtain the NABCEP PV Association certification. This certification benefits new installers, experienced workforce personnel, employers, and the public.  

Is there a minimum attendance requirement to successfully complete the program?

To successfully complete the program, it’s important to maintain consistent attendance. Our program has a policy that allows for a maximum of three class absences. If you exceed this limit and miss more than three classes, you will no longer be eligible to continue through the program. We encourage all participants to prioritize attendance to make the most of this valuable opportunity.

For any questions you may have about the program, please email our Program Manager, Mary Stafford, at Mary.Stafford@arhub.org or contact us by calling (501) 907-6570

The Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub is a proud affiliate of Winrock International.


Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub
204 E 4th St
North Little Rock, AR 72114

(501) 907-6570



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