The Peak Innovation Center (PEAK) is a multi-million dollar educational facility designed specifically for career-focused programming. PEAK developed as a collaborative partnership between Fort Smith Public Schools, the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith Western Arkansas Technical Center (WATC), the Fort Smith Regional Chamber of Commerce, and multiple local businesses in Fort Smith, Arkansas.
PEAK’s programming delivers hands-on, cutting-edge, technical, and career training to high school students in 22 school districts throughout the River Valley region. Through its strong community support and industry partnerships, students receive a direct connection to career opportunities in the region. Students who successfully complete PEAK courses have the ability to earn a competitive salary upon high school graduation and are better prepared for college. All WATC coursework students complete at PEAK seamlessly transfers to the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith. In some cases, PEAK students can earn their Associate’s Degree at the same time that they graduate from high school.
PEAK is dedicated to increasing the number of students entering and completing CTE programs, increasing the number of industry-recognized certifications earned, and increasing work-based learning opportunities for students. PEAK presents the Fort Smith community with the ability to grow its capacity and increase the number of graduates, students receiving industry-recognized certifications, and student opportunities within the educational area of work-based learning. The ongoing, aligned support of K-12 partners is critical to a student’s successful transition into the workplace or their pursuit of a college degree. Thirty-six business, community, public, and private partners, in addition to educational entities and charitable organizations, have supported PEAK’s plans for future expansion. Key business and community partners continue to engage in our ongoing workforce development initiatives and the PEAK resource generation.
PEAK changes the educational and economic landscape of the River Valley region and acts as a workforce showcase for the State of Arkansas. The culmination of education, community, business, and industry efforts has forged a path toward a new educational model where industry leaders teach students in real-world scenarios on modern, industry-specific equipment.