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A new innovation hub aims to generate the doers and dreamers in Pine Bluff

The Generator will open mid-April with a purpose to develop economic growth through programs, partnerships, and technology.

PINE BLUFF, Ark. — Only on 11, we give you an exclusive first look into Pine Bluff's new innovation hub!

A project that's been in the making for over three years finally has a place to call home. 

Establishing an innovation hub is one of Go Forward Pine Bluff's 26 initiatives. 

These are all promises the group made to their city to ensure a revitalization. 

Mildred Franco, Executive Director of The Generator, said in just one month, the people of Pine Bluff will see one promise that was kept when the hub opens its doors. 

"We are about empowering the doers, the makers, the dreamers," she said. 

Behind the hard hats and the caution tape lies a vision of enhancement and leverage. 

"We want to create new jobs, we want to create new businesses, so whatever that takes," Franco said. 

An innovation hub, powered by Go Forward Pine Bluff, is the new kid on the growing Main Street block. 

"There is a lot of stuff happening in this area, and what if we can be a model to continue that down the street?" she said. 

Franco said by generating economic growth through programs, partnerships, and technology, these barren walls will become a space for the youngest and oldest of visionaries. 

"Engaging with them to see okay, what do they need in order to be successful? How do we set them up on a path of success?" she said. 

Franco said between entrepreneurship training to digital skills development to a podcast studio, The Generator will be a place for everyone. 

"It's a little bit of everything and that was done on purpose. That was not serendipity," she said. 

Franco is the woman behind it all. 

She said she wants to focus on the youngest generation and bridge the digital divide within her city. 

"In Pine Bluff, there is a little bit of a low education attainment and that typically translates into low digital skills attainment," Franco said. 

Soon, empty rooms will transform into creative corridors -- inspiring collaboration and learning.

"I know that if they engage, they will find something in here for them," Franco said. 

She said the hub will be one of the only places in town with high-speed internet.

The grand opening for The Generator is set for mid-April. 

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