VR Demonstration during Academies Baldwin Shell and Jacksonville Announcement

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (May 23, 2024) – The Academies of Central Arkansas announced today the establishment of the Baldwin & Shell Academy of Building, Automotive, and Design at Jacksonville High School. This partnership between Baldwin & Shell, Jacksonville High School and the Jacksonville North Pulaski School District is core to the foundation and successful implementation of the Academies model of teaching and learning being implemented in public high schools throughout Pulaski County, better known as the Academies of Central Arkansas.

Scholars in the Baldwin & Shell Academy of Building, Automotive, and Design will benefit immensely from this partnership, with expanded learning opportunities throughout all four years of their enrollment at Jacksonville High School. Scholars in freshman seminar will have several opportunities for career exploration that include hearing guest speakers from local business and industry and participating in the annual career exposure event, where Baldwin & Shell, along with several other central Arkansas businesses, will be participating in this hands-on event for all ninth graders.

Beginning in the 2024-2025 school year, scholars will participate in several experiences alongside leaders from Baldwin & Shell. These experiences include industry field trips, job shadowing, career mentoring, mock interviewing, and potential internship opportunities. Nearing graduation from the Baldwin & Shell Academy of Building, Automotive, and Design, scholars will have opportunities to earn concurrent credit, industry recognized credentials, and will create a capstone project co-developed by the team at Baldwin & Shell and the faculty at Jacksonville High School.

“We are so excited to pour into students some of our knowledge and experience in order to excite them about this world we call construction,” said Bobby Gosser, President & CEO of Baldwin & Shell Construction Company.

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.

“Uniting tradition with innovation, the Baldwin & Shell Academy of Building, Automotive, and Design at Jacksonville High School embodies the essence of the Academies of Central Arkansas. Much like Baldwin & Shell's expertise in constructing diverse projects across industries, this partnership constructs pathways to success for students, empowering them to explore a spectrum of career opportunities and contribute meaningfully to our society,” said Jay Chesshir, President & CEO of the Little Rock Regional Chamber.

Jeremy Owoh, Jacksonville North Pulaski School District Superintendent said, “We are thrilled to partner with Baldwin & Shell Construction Company to provide our high school scholars with exceptional hands-on learning opportunities. This collaboration not only equips our scholars with invaluable skills but also paves the way for their future success in the building, automotive, and design industries. Together, we are building a brighter future for our community.”

Full implementation of the Academies of Central Arkansas is currently underway at Jacksonville High School. While full implementation for all other public high schools in Pulaski County is set to be achieved in the 2025-2026 school year, once fully implemented, 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.

About Academies of Central Arkansas

The Academies of Central Arkansas is an initiative of the Little Rock Regional Chamber and utilizes the Academies model of teaching and learning. It is being implemented wall-to-wall within all four public school districts in Pulaski County. The model transforms the public high school experience by blending core academics with career and technical education. Students see relevance and better engage with their math, science, English, and social studies when taught through the lens of an occupation or industry theme that interests them. This model connects students’ learning with real world applications, preparing them not only for college, but for career and life. For more info visit www.academiesofcentralarkansas.org.

About Baldwin & Shell Construction Company

For over 78 years, Baldwin & Shell Construction Company has maintained a prominent position in the construction industry. Known for its commitment to excellence, the company offers a comprehensive suite of construction and construction management services. Customers repeatedly choose Baldwin & Shell for projects distinguished by quality, timeliness, and fiscal responsibility. Baldwin & Shell’s team of experts provides customers an unparalleled level of professionalism, integrity, and respect while delivering a collaborative construction approach to meet their evolving needs.

About Jacksonville High School

The Jacksonville North Pulaski School District is a district where traditional values meet innovative programs. Established in June 2016, the Jacksonville North Pulaski School District serves more than 4,400 scholars in grades PreK-12. Each teacher, administrator and staff member is behind our mission to ”foster a culture of ownership and accountability through partnerships that create multiple pathways for success.”