Entergy Arkansas partners with two Pulaski County high schools

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (May 10, 2023) – The Academies of Central Arkansas announced today the establishment of Energy Pathways to be located at Joe T. Robinson High School, within the Pulaski County Special School District, and at Little Rock Hall STEAM Magnet High School, within the Little Rock School District.  This partnership between Entergy Arkansas, Hall High School, and Robinson High School is a core foundation for the Academies model of teaching and learning being implemented in public high schools throughout Pulaski County, better known as the Academies of Central Arkansas.

The Energy Pathway will include energy-focused curriculum including the Center for Energy Workforce Development (CEWD) Energy Industry Fundamentals (EIF) curriculum and the National Energy Education Development (NEED) project. Entergy’s commitment to the partnership includes participation in Academies of Central Arkansas career exposure events, providing Entergy guest speakers in Freshman Seminar courses, and conducting mock interviews with students. In addition, Entergy will provide equipment and project-based learning demonstrations.  

As a partner, Entergy Arkansas will work collaboratively with faculty and their Academy Coaches at both high schools to identify the needed resources, learning opportunities, required skills for students, and relevant industry certifications. Students will gain exposure to energy industry careers, will have the opportunity to network with Entergy employees, and will hone their skills for a future career in the utilities sector or a similarly skilled STEM career.

“Having strong schools with thriving students who are well prepared for the workforce not only helps attract new businesses to the state, but it also strengthens families and communities,” said Laura Landreaux, president and CEO of Entergy Arkansas. “We are proud to support this groundbreaking partnership and can’t wait to see the future success of the program and its students – graduates who we hope will represent the next generation of employees in the energy industry.”

"Robinson High School is pleased to partner with Entergy Arkansas with our new energy pathway.  This partnership will enable our students to gain necessary skills to become employable directly upon high school graduation,” said Robinson High School Principal Dr. Jay Pickering. “We believe our partnership will not only benefit our students but also will have a positive impact on central Arkansas through strong sustainable college and career readiness." 

“We are thrilled at yet another exciting opportunity to provide our students with meaningful, relevant, real-world educational experiences. We are grateful for the partnership with Entergy and believe it will go a long way in helping us reimagine the future for LRSD students and preparing them for college and career,” said Little Rock School District Superintendent Dr. Jermall Wright.

The Academies of Central Arkansas is a joint initiative of the four public school districts across Pulaski County and the regional business community. In 2019, the Jacksonville North Pulaski, Little Rock, North Little Rock, and Pulaski County Special School Districts, together with the five Pulaski County chambers of commerce and business and civic leaders, began implementing high school academies within all public high schools in the county, serving all students.  

Little Rock Regional Chamber President & CEO Jay Chesshir said, “We are so grateful for visionary business leaders like Entergy in our community. From the beginning of our work with the Academies five years ago, Entergy has been a partner and believer in what this initiative could mean for our students and even funded the initial exploratory report. Today, we celebrate a special announcement as they enter a partnership with two high schools in Pulaski County. Entergy shares our goal for the Academies of Central Arkansas to graduate Academy students who are prepared for college and career and through this partnership, Entergy will provide relevant, real-world experiences to ensure they do.”

Implementation of the Academies of Central Arkansas will take several years to fully build out. Once completed, this educational approach will help transform high schools for all students within the four school districts. The Little Rock Regional Chamber is still actively recruiting business partners for all Academy high schools. Businesses interested in getting more information can reach out to the chamber directly or visit www.academiesofcentralarkansas.org.