The DTEC Story
Delta Technology Education Center at 130 West Waterman in Dumas was born through misfortune. Following tornadoes of February 2007, directors of the Dumas Economic Development Foundation sought ways to “rewrite” the economy.
Local officials invited Maria Haley, Director of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, to tour the area and discuss possibilities for technological advancement. State Representative David Rainey asked Dr. John Ahlen, director of Arkansas Science and Technology Authority, to design a tech center prototype.
Subsequently, through a summer program for college student interns, extended research and conferences with the governor’s office and other state leaders, the effort moved forward. The City of Dumas received grants to buy and renovate the former Merchants & Farmers Bank property. The city then leased the renovated facilities to the non-profit Delta Technology Education Center.
The dream becomes reality
The dream became reality in November of 2010 when Governor Mike Beebe and a host of public officials, local supporters and friends participated in the grand opening and dedication of Delta Technology Education Center.
Delta Technology Education Center’s main building has 24 computer stations for public access as well as total wireless usage. Full service support has been committed by the Department of Arkansas Workforce Services. Facilities are also available for entrepreneurial development and student internships in technology. Merchants & Farmers Bank has leased space for drive-up windows.
In June of 2012, the renovation of the Education Building was completed. Cooperation between Arkansas, the City of Dumas, foundations and private citizens help make this possible. The Education Building has two large interactive classrooms that are being used by area colleges, public school students, industry, business, agriculture, and medical fields.
The Delta Technology Education Center has been fully supported by:
- The City of Dumas
- Delta Regional Authority
- Arkansas Economic Development Commission,
- Arkansas Science and Technology Authority
- The Winthrop Rockefellor Foundation
- Delta Area Community Foundation
- Arkansas Rural Services
- Arkansas Department of Workforce Services
- Arkansas Workforce Services Investment Board
- Southeast Arkansas Economic Development District
- Central Arkansas Planning and Development Distric
- Merchants and Farmers Bank
- Dumas Economic Development Foundation
- Simmons First Bank of Dumas, Governor Mike Bebee
- Former Congressman Mike Ross
- Former Senator Blanche Lincoln
- Senator Mark Pryor.
Educational partners are:
- Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas-Dewitt Campus
- University of Arkansas at Monticello-UAM College of Technology at McGehee
- Southeast Arkansas College in Pine Bluff
- University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.
The DTEC staff includes Shalaunda Jones, director, and Melanie Berry, college coordinator.
Serving on the DTEC board are:
- Representative David Rainey, chairman
- Terry Wood, vice chairman
- Sammye Owen, treasurer
- Michael Jones
- Pastor Timothy Jones
- Charlotte Schexnayder
- Price Boney
- Bruce Clark
- Lorrie Holt
- Mayor James Berry