What if Central Arkansas had a nonprofit that was dedicated to offering a space for creatives to innovate and create in groundbreaking ways? Oh wait… We do! Meet the Arkansas Innovation Hub. This organization opened in 2014 and never looked back.
The Hub says it best - “We see an Arkansas where, regardless of demographic identifiers or geographic location, Arkansans are generating and inspiring innovation in cutting-edge technology, business, and creative fields. The Innovation Hub uses tools, skills, and expertise to inspire innovators and entrepreneurs who expand the range of education and economic opportunities for themselves , for their communities, in our state and throughout the world.”
The Innovation Hub believes that Arkansas' most valuable resource is talent! Their facilities aim to foster and develop upcoming/new talent to fulfill the needs of the thriving startup economy in our community. They offer courses in screen printing, ceramics, carpentry, graphic design, printmaking, advanced manufacturing, electronics, computer equipment, laser cutting, and much, much more. The things you could learn to master at The Hub are endless!
Another cool thing The Hub offers is their Skills to Launch program for youths. They offer training in a variety of trade skills, as well as soft skills like communication, resume building, and goal setting. This program works to create a young workforce that is capable and talented. Since the participants in the program are often training for a specific job opening, they move into positions with great pay - meaning that The Hub is directly involved in providing stable home and family situations for Arkansas’ youth!
The Innovation Hub is also directly involved with digital literacy in Arkansas school systems. They provide assessments, a custom online platform for learning, instructional development for teaching professionals, and evaluation of the program and its effectiveness for districts and schools all over! Since the world is converting more and more toward digital each day, this project increases opportunities for our youth.
Another fun thing The Hub does is The Innovation Challenge - as they say, it’s “Science Fair meets Shark Tank.” Participants learn to use engineering design processes to find solutions to problems we encounter each day! Students can compete solo or in a team of up to 4 (3, if high school aged). Winners will be presented with t-shirts, laser-cut certificates, and packages of virtual learning and group consultation to take their project up a notch! They’ll get advice and support in areas like entrepreneurship, web design, 3D printing, and more!
The Innovation Hub has a mobile makerspace (the STEAM Roller) that travels across the state to provide high-quality STEAM education to rural communities! Schools are also welcome to book field trips to the North Little Rock makerspace or conduct a virtual field trip. The Hub also offers many different after school classes - printing, coding, you name it!
Wait, but what about all the adults who want to participate in awesome, hands-on learning? The Hub has plenty of stuff for you, as well. Attend a workshop led by a local expert and learn something new. Workshops are taught on everything from using a saw, to screen printing, to visual storytelling, to vector design, to making your own coffee mug!
Looking for a more one-on-one experience? The Hub offers independent learning through Private Instruction classes. Reserve a private workshop in pottery, welding, woodworking, 3D printing, routers, laser cutting, and more!
Want to learn a transferable skill for Professional Development? The Innovation Hub offers professional development courses in Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, Vector design, Pottery, Coding, Video Game design, and 3D design. Take your career to the next level!
The Hub does so many other cool things. For example, they provide productionof so many types of goods and materials for Arkansas businesses. They’ve also compiled a giant guide of vendors and small shops to purchase from for those who love to shop local! You can event rent The Hub out as a space for events!
What are you waiting for? Become a member already! Individuals can sign up for just $50 a month! Additionally, there are membership plans for teams, co-working, seniors, teachers, and military. These prices make The Hub accessible for us all.
Facebook: Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub