This fall, students at NorthWest Arkansas Community College (NWACC) and Minneapolis Community & Technical College can study bikes. The Bicycle Assembly and Repair Technician Certificate program — being offered at both schools for the first time — is an accelerated, two-semester program designed to prepare students for employment in the bicycle retail industry. Over the course of a year, students will learn a wealth of new skills, including extensive bicycle repair and service work, bicycle assembly, service department management and business.
NWACC is based in Bentonville, Arkansas, a mecca for mountain biking, and the hope is the new program will help create a talent pipeline for the region. In an industry that’s predominantly white and male, the college is also trying to encourage diversity from the get-go by offering scholarships for accepted students who identify as Black, Indigenous and/or a person of color (BIPOC) and/or lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and/or queer (LGBTQ). The hope is that the scholarships, which are funded by the Walton Personal Philanthropy Group, will break down some of the barriers associated with the program and encourage students from historically marginalized groups to consider the bicycle industry as a career path. Read MORE.