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Award-winning actor and workplace skills advocate john Ratzenberger will be in the afternoon keynote speaker at next months’ Northwest Arkansas Workforce Summit.

The Nov. 7 event, which convenes business and policy leaders with educators from school districts across the region, will be at the Northwest Arkansas Convention Center in Springdale.
Ratzenberger, who played Cliff Clavin on the standout television sitcom “Cheers,” later produced and starred in “Made in America,” a documentary series that highlights U.S. made goods.

Ratzenberger is passionate about how important it is for the U.S. to provide the training to produce skilled laborers. Ratzenberger is currently in pre-production on a new TV series with the purpose of awakening the show’s viewers to the shortage of skilled workers that exists in the U.S.

New to this year’s workforce summit will be a second day that will be devoted to students from high schools in Benton and Washington counties. On November 8, hundreds of students will spend a half day at the summit’s Career Exploration Expo where they will have the opportunity to visit with more than 40 employers about career opportunities. The second half of the day will be spent touring the Northwest Technical Institute campus in Springdale.

Ratzenberger will speak with the students during a luncheon that day.
Economist Ted Abernathy will provide the Monday morning keynote address on workforce trends on the national and regional level. Additional sessions during the Nov. 7 event will feature employers who are actively engaging with schools to improve the training process, and Charisse Childers, director of the Arkansas Department of Career Education.
Individual tickets, which include lunch, are $49. They may be purchased by going to this link.

The summit was first held in 2015, and the Springdale Chamber of Commerce is the annual event’s organizer.

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