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BIEA plans a second technician training program, in Arkansas

Published December 2, 2020
The Bentonville, Arkansas, program will be the new group's second accredited technician program. Seven regional programs are planned.

WASHINGTON (BRAIN) — The Bicycle Industry Employers Association, a new group that launched a year ago, is working with NorthWest Arkansas Community College on what will become BIEA's second accredited bicycle technician program. 

The BIEA's first program will go live this fall at Minneapolis Technical & Community College. The group hopes to have programs in seven U.S. regions by 2024.

The Arkansas program, in the developing bike hotbed of Bentonville, could launch as soon as this fall, said David Olson, BIEA's chair. Olson is also the president and part-owner of Erik's Bike Shop, a chain of about 30 shops in the Midwest.

Olson said the BIEA's third program will likely be in the Southwest. He said the BIEA continues to gain momentum, with REI recently joining the group. The BIEA's mission is to develop cost-effective bike technician programs at regionally accredited colleges across the country. The BIEA, which is also is focused on increasing diversity in the industry's workforce, will partner with the National Interscholastic Cycling Association to award scholarships to young women and people of color who are eager to enter the bicycle industry.

Megan M. Bolinder, Ph.D, the dean of workforce and economic development at NWACC, said "we believe that the time is right for the Workforce Division to expand its technician training to bike assembly and repair for what is quickly becoming a high-demand technician need nationwide and strong catalyst for economic development in the NWA region."

Topics associated with this article: Retailer education

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