Arkansas wilderness photographer Tim Ernst, whose work has been the subject of nearly 20 books and has been featured in National Geographic, the New York Times and many nationally-published calendars, will appear at 7 p.m. on March 9 at the El Dorado Conference Center. The event is part of South Arkansas Community College’s annual Lecture Series and is free for the public to attend.

Ernst will provide a multimedia presentation showcasing some of his work, which includes wildlife, landscapes, and starry skies—much of which was shot in the Natural State—as well as share tips and stories.

For more than a quarter-century, Ernst has been teaching photography workshops in the Buffalo River wilderness. He is the founder of the Ozark Highlands Trail Association, which has grown to memberships in 25 states and five foreign countries and has contributed 350,000 hours of volunteer labor to the U.S. Forest Service and various local agencies. He is a former member of the Board of the American Hiking Society—which once awarded him Volunteer of the Year—and a former chairman of the Arkansas Trails Council.

His backpacking articles have appeared in numerous national publications, and he is the author of more than a dozen hiking trail guidebooks.

His latest photography book is “Arkansas in My Own Back Yard,” published last year. He also regularly publishes a blog, the Cloudland Cabin Journal, at his website

The new certified production technician program at South Arkansas Community College in El Dorado, which begins on Aug. 2, is designed to make students ready for jobs in the local manufacturing sector.
The intensive eight-week course follows guidelines set by the Manufacturing Skills Standards Council and is taught using a hybrid classroom and Internet-based e-learning experience. Students will meet in the classroom from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. each Tuesday and Thursday and will have a minimum of nine hours of e-learning each week.
Completion of the course will earn a student a nationally-recognized certified production technician credential. It is the only manufacturing production training program recognized by the American National Standards Institute as meeting the ISO Standard 17024.
Offered through SouthArk’s division of workforce and continuing education, the program does not require credit enrollment at the college.
The curriculum covers safety in the workplace, quality systems and precision measurement, production processes and maintenance awareness (basic electricity, pneumatics, hydraulics, lubrication, bearings and couplings and belt and chain drives).
“Recent high-school graduates, displaced workers and individuals who do not plan to attend college at this time but are seeking a job in the manufacturing industry will benefit from this program,” instructor Donald Lee said. “SouthArk is the only place in the area where you can get this MSSC credential.”
Financial aid may be available for qualifying individuals to cover the $1,125 cost.
For more information, contact Lee at (870) 864-8480.

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Recently-released data from the 2014-2015 academic year shows that the Career Pathways program at South Arkansas Community College had 82 percent of its completers enter employment, a mark that is tied for the highest such percentage of all Career Pathways programs in Arkansas.

Career Pathways is a state initiative that provides support for qualifying students in an effort to help them find stable employment upon college completion. Support includes financial, counseling and other support. Qualifying is defined as meeting low-income eligibility requirements and having children under age 21 living at home. The program began in 2005 and is available at 25 state colleges.