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The 38th annual Economic Development Council Industry Appreciation Luncheon recognized two local institutions of higher learning, Texarkana College and Texas A&M University-Texarkana.

Texarkana Chamber of Commerce Board Chairman Joey Martin first recognized TAMU-T for several things, from various degree programs put in place that would help the region, including bachelor of social work, master of social work, master of nursing-advanced practice nurse/family nurse practitioner and bachelor of science in mechanical engineering. Marin also recognized the leadership of Dr. Emily Cutrer, A&M-Texarkana's president, and her navigating her institution through the COVID crisis and maintaining full operation under this year's difficult circumstances.

Dr. Gary Stading accepted the award for A&M-Texarkana.

Texarkana College was next recognized for, among other things, 3-year graduation completions at a 49.7 %, well above the state average of 24.2%. TC was ranked highest in the state for 3-year graduation rates in 2018 and 2019. Completion rates for African-American students for TC stands at 28.9%, more than doubling the state average of 12.5%.

Additionally, TC opened the Betty & Buddy Ledwell Workforce Training Center to provide advanced manufacturing skills to the area workforce. It has seen a 28% increase in enrollment in all 12 workforce certificate programs. TC also secured $1.1 million in state and local grants to support advanced manufacturing industry training and equipment.

Dr. Jason Smith, TC president, accepted the award.

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