WEST MEMPHIS – Mid-South Community College will name its newest cutting-edge facility in honor of retired Congressman Marion Berry.

WEST MEMPHIS – Mid-South Community College will name its newest cutting-edge facility in honor of retired Congressman Marion Berry.

Berry backed efforts to direct more than $55 million to Eastern Arkansas for educational and economic development.

The $9 million Marion Berry Renewable Energy Center will be dedicated in spring 2012.

“I am deeply honored and humbled to have my name associated with a facility that will help our region grow and prosper,” Berry said. “My intent as a public servant has always been to do what’s right, to represent the people of the First District to the best of my ability, and to do all I could to make our region and nation a better place to live. It has been a genuine pleasure and privilege to be a small part of the wonderful work being done in Eastern Arkansas.”

Mid-South college President Glen Fenter said the school couldn’t have selected a more appropriate name for the structure.

“The naming of this facility in honor of Congressman Berry is not the total consummate expression of our appreciation for his efforts, but it is a very significant representation of all he has done for Eastern Arkansas,” Fenter said. “It is impossible to overstate the significance of his role in our efforts to transform the region. The Arkansas Delta has never had a greater champion.”

“Since 2005, our ADTEC effort has enjoyed a great deal of divine intervention, but I also attribute it to folks who have worked very hard on our behalf. Congressman Berry has played one of the largest roles in helping us get where we are today. It is a privilege for us to have the opportunity to express that appreciation by naming this facility in his honor,” Fenter said.

Investments in the ADTEC consortium, which includes MSCC, Arkansas Northeastern College, Arkansas State University-Newport, East Arkansas Community College, and Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas, have resulted in the creation of new programs in advanced manufacturing technology, diesel technology, renewable energy technology, and transportation technology.

By building partnerships with public schools and universities, the consortium has created career pathways that extend from high school through baccalaureate degrees.

ADTEC partners have also implemented a University Center concept which provides students with a variety of high-quality and convenient baccalaureate, graduate, and advanced professional development opportunities from regional colleges and universities. MSCC’s University Center includes collaborations with Arkansas State University, Arkansas Tech University, Bethel University, Franklin University, Montana State University Northern, the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville, the University of Arkansas–Fort Smith, the University of Central Arkansas, and Victory University.

Berry attended the ground-breaking for the facility that was known at the time as the Mid-South Renewable Energy Center. The center will provide the region with the capacity to develop a well-trained workforce for the rapidly-evolving transportation, agriculture, and heavy construction industries.