RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. – “Start here, stay here,” is the motto the Russellville Chamber of Commerce is using to encourage people to find jobs in the city.

A brand-new Russellville School District plan is hoping to do just that, by preparing students for the community workforce needs.

From providing students with internships and shadowing options to gaining a deeper understanding of what will be expected of them once they become employees, Russellville School District Superintendent Dr. Ginnir McDonald said this partnership aims to better prepare them for any career field.

“The chamber and our community are counting on us to produce students that can exceed in our environment,” McDonald said.

Those businesses just need employees, which is exactly why a part of the Russellville School District’s strategic plan is to prepare students to take those jobs.

“I think today our workforce is something that we have to act fast on and be able to respond quickly to our community’s needs,” McDonald said.

McDonald said the plan will give the school district the opportunity to deepen the curriculum to match the job requirements of Russellville businesses.

“So, if something that is important to your family is you want to have a viable job here in the Russellville community, we have that information right here for you, and we’re going to be able to provide the courses that you need and the experiences you need in order to make that your viable career option,” McDonald said.

Russellville Chamber of Commerce CEO Dr. Megan Selman and other stakeholders helped with the career and workforce goal of the plan.

“By exposing they can see their interests and they can see their aptitude just giving them those options is just really key to future generations having better opportunities,” Selman said.

Knowing the job market is constantly evolving, Selman said having students actively engaged with professionals in their desired career field, will make students competitive in the job market.

“There are entry-level jobs as well as advanced jobs that we would like to make sure that our local students are prepared for,” Selman said.

McDonald said they’re hoping to create graduates who will turn into employees who will go above and beyond.

“We want them to make a difference, make a difference here in our community, make a difference in our school, and make a difference in the workplace,” McDonald said.

This plan prepares students for jobs right out for those who are either not going to college or waiting to go. There are also jobs available after earning a two-year degree, a four-year degree or a post-graduate degree.