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Arkansas Northeastern College (ANC) and SMS group sign agreement creating the Arkansas Steelmaking Academy (ASA)

Officials from SMS group in North America and Arkansas Northeastern College administrators met to finalize and sign an agreement creating the Arkansas Steelmaking Academy which will begin offerings in 2019.

Doug Dunworth, President and CEO of SMS group’s North American operations, met with Arkansas Northeastern College president Dr. James Shemwell and his staff today to finalize an agreement creating the Arkansas Steelmaking Academy (ASA). The partnership announcement was made during a visit to ANC by Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson.

With the opening of Big River Steel, northeastern Arkansas has one of the highest regional concentrations of steel making in the United States. SMS group, in 2017, opened a new local workshop in Osceola, Arkansas. This new facility allows our local customers, in many cases, to save on transportation costs as SMS brings maintenance services utilized by these customers closer to them. The Osceola workshop is housed in what was a vacated but fairly new 5,000 square meter industrial building. SMS group prides itself on being a leading partner in the world of metals not only in North America but throughout the world. SMS’s largest market is steel production. The company provides world-class new equipment and actively supports operations by devising solutions throughout the process from melting and casting to rolling and finishing. With SMS servicing clients such as Nucor Steel, Big River Steel, Tenaris, and TMK-IPSCO locally as well as many other manufacturers across the country, it made sense for the company to consider a proposal by ANC to offer North American-based training centrally located in Arkansas.

“Before now, the state-of-the art steel technology training offered through the SMS TECademy has only been available in Germany,” said Shemwell. “By partnering with SMS group, the Arkansas Northeastern College can become a satellite training hub for North America as a cost effective way to gain knowledge of cutting edge techniques in steelmaking and processing.” The agreement between ANC and SMS group will allow companies to save the costs of overseas travel by providing a local option for the renowned TECademy training.

Dunworth echoes Dr. Shemwell’s sentiments “We are both pleased and excited about this partnership between ANC and SMS group. Not only will this help our customer base in North America but the ASA can be a launching point in training the future generations of steelworkers with knowledge in the latest technology in steelmaking and processing.”

The Arkansas Steelmaking Academy will be housed in the College’s 8,500 square meter Center for Allied Technology currently under construction. By utilizing the new facility, the ASA will be located in a world-class complex featuring technologically-equipped seminar classrooms and hands-on training laboratories for steel technology. The Center for Allied Technology is slated to open in August with ASA offerings anticipated to begin in 2019. Arkansas Northeastern College is currently one of very few colleges in the nation offering Steel Industry Technology programs and the only one in the state. Shemwell noted, “We were proud to have Governor Hutchinson, a champion for economic development in Arkansas, present for today’s unveiling of ASA. The agreement with our SMS colleagues announced today will advance ANC’s capacity as providers of steel technology training to the next level, a global level.”

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