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Facebook and the the University of Arkansas-Pulaski Technical College are partnering to create a digital marketing course.

More than 400 people including some small business owners on Tuesday attended a Facebook Community Boost event in Little Rock where representatives for the social media company announced a digital marketing curriculum to be established at Pulaski Tech in the near future.

Margaret Ellibee, chancellor for the North Little Rock-based community college, said the program aligns perfectly with Gov. Asa Hutchinson's emphasis on increasing computer skills in Arkansas.

“Gov. Hutchinson has made a substantial effort to teach our children important skills like coding,” Elibee said. “We see alignment with his initiative with this partnership. This will have a large impact on our local communities.”

Pulaski Tech is one of a small number of community colleges Facebook has partnered with over the past year, officials said.

The partnership is part of a goal Facebook set to have 1 million people and small business owners trained across the U.S. by 2020.

“Over 62 percent of small business owners said having digital or social media skills is an important factor in their hiring decisions,” Facebook spokeswoman Ana Martinez said. “This is a way to bring digital skills and training to everyone.”

The details of each program are slightly different with each college partner, and Pulaski Tech is still hammering out the details on the curriculum.

"The program will be geared toward the needs of Arkansas," Martinez said.

One of the program courses will feature training on social media marketing, including Facebook certified curriculum on best practices using the Facebook Ad Manager and Instagram for marketing, according to a news release.

Wallace Bentley, dean for the community college, said officials hope to have the program up and running sometime next year.


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