Connecting Northwest Arkansas To Career Opportunities.

upskilling our mission2x

Our Mission

Upskill NWA comes to work every day with the mission to connect you to your dream career. Currently, we connect participants to career opportunities in the healthcare field and take care of things like tuition, books, fees, licensing exam costs, and other historical barriers. Upskill NWA participants are partnered with a Career Navigator who are with you every step of the way to ensure your success.

upskill our history

Our History

Excellerate Foundation and Walton Family Foundation joined leaders from local academic institutions and major employers in Northwest Arkansas to connect the region's untapped workforce to skilled positions in high demand industries.

As a result, these two foundations committed $3 million to the three-year roll out phase of Upskill NWA. Upskill NWA is based on the proven model of success that has served people across the country for nearly 30 years, a model that has been known as Project QUEST, Capital IDEA, and others.

our vision

Our Vision

Upskill NWA wants to bring this successful upskilling model to our region to provide lasting positive impact to its participants and their families. Research showed that children of Capital IDEA participants experienced a college enrollment rate of approximately 70% directly after high school compared to the expected rate of just 45% (Source: Greg Compton, UT Ray Marshall Center). We want to empower leaders of today and generations of leaders to come.

How it Works

Our three-part application process will allow you to complete the application from your home computer or smartphone with internet. If you are have additional questions about the application process, contact


Fill Out an Application

Submit your information here to get started on your application.

Let Us Get to Know You

Meet with a member of the Upskill NWA team to review your application and interview for the program.

Learn and Upskill!

Accepted applicants will start as Upskill NWA participants at the next available opportunity.

Our Team

Brandie Wright

Career Navigator

Carol Silva Moralez

President / CEO

Christina Walters

Director of Services

Hannah Standifer

Director of Finance

Claudia Mendez

Career Navigator

Bridget Schultz

Career Services Coordinator

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How is this program provided to participants at no cost?

    As an organization with a mission to place people into great careers, we collaborate with like-minded organizations throughout our community. Through the generous support of multiple entities, Upskill NWA’s services—including tuition, books, fees, licensing exam fees, and other historical barriers —are provided at no cost to participants.

  • Who is eligible to participate?

    Participants must have a household income at or lower than 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI table below). Participants must be a US Citizen, Permanent Resident, or DACA Recipient. Participants must also reside in Benton, Madison, or Washington County in Arkansas. For more information, please see Apply.

  • What sort of income level documentation will I need to provide?

    Provide your income and/or your spouse or partner's income via two most recent pay stub(s) and the first page of your most recent tax return. If you need assistance on how to acquire this type of documentation, we are here to help. 

    If under the age of 24 and claimed as a dependent by someone, you will not be eligible.

  • What if I cannot find my tax return?

    If you have lost a copy of your taxes, you can get a transcript of your taxes from the IRS by calling (800)-829-1040. Transcripts will be mailed directly to you in two to three weeks.

  • Am I considered single or married?

    Single: Not legally married and not living with someone with whom you have children.

    Married or living with a partner: Legally married or living with someone with whom you have children.

  • How will I establish that I live in Benton, Madison, or Washington County in Arkansas?

    You can provide one of the following:

    • Arkansas Drivers License, or
    • Lease or Mortgage, or
    • Utility Bill (electric, gas, water, or trash)
  • How do I get copies of my high school diploma or GED certificate?

    To get a copy of your high school transcript, contact the registrar’s office at the school from which you graduated. It should be able to get you a copy of your transcript.

    For a GED certificate, Order a Duplicate Transcript from the Arkansas Division of Workforce Services.

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