PARIS (KFSM) -- Tyson foods donated $266,000 to help with construction of the new Logan County Career Center on Wednesday (July 20).
"Sixty percent of our students intend to live in this area after they graduate. So, if they intend to live within a 50-mile radius, there certainly needs to be jobs," said Paris superintendent Wayne Fawcett.
The center will be located behind the Paris High School. Once built, the center will be available to many students in the Logan County area, and students will be taught by ATU Ozark professors.
The new facility will allow high school students to gain college credit while taking regular high school courses.
"The Paris school district, Scranton school district, the Magazine school district and the County Line school district," Fawcett said. "Any high school student who goes there can come and take either allied health or industrial technology or ultimately welding."
The effort to gather funds has been a three-year-long process with a $50,000 donation coming from former senator Bruce Holland's office.
"It was part of the general improvement fund money that legislators had to distribute after the 2013 session," Holland said.
Construction will begin in September on the new facility, which is in line with the Arkansas Governor's Workforce Development program.
"We believe in what the governor is doing, in making workforce development a priority and Dr. Childers with career education," Jeffrey Wood the Tyson Director of Community Relations said. "This is important for the state of Arkansas and it's going to help make us all better."
"This is exactly what we are encouraging all communities to do," said Charisse Childers with the director of Department of Career Education. "To look out at their business partners and the education components and the community leadership. To look at where the jobs are in their area and what they can do to make sure the students have the skills that they need."
The center is expected to open in January 2017.