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Jefferson County, Arkansas
Gov. Asa Hutchinson said the No. 1 question he gets in recruiting private industry to Arkansas is how is industry going to get a workforce. The 10 counties in the Southeast Arkansas Economic Development District have become certified as ACT Work Ready Communities, state and district officials announced Wednesday.
"What you have done has allowed us to make the case that we have the workforce that is trained [and] ready to go," the Republican governor told more than 50 officials from southeast Arkansas at the state Capitol. "We know exactly their levels of expertise. They are certified, and we can make the case that southeast Arkansas is ready to do business and ready to receive a new investment of industry."
Central Arkansas high school students have the chance to earn a work readiness certificate before they graduate, and the unique test can not only get graduates hired but also paid a higher wage.
The Arkansas Division of Workforce Services has a new Assistant Director. Eddie Thomas previously served as Workforce Development Director at the Southeast Arkansas Planning and Development District in Pine Bluff. Thomas is set to lead the Employment Assistance Unit, which governs statewide WIOA programming and local workforce board activities. Under Eddie's leadership, all ten southeast counties are now participating in Work Ready Communities.
Delta Regional Authority announce awards for the Workforce Opportunity for Rural Communities (WORC) initiative to support workforce training and education in rural communities. ACT congratulates the grantees in their awards and applauds their innovative solutions.
- Southeast Arkansas College, $130k: Establish certificate program for Supply Chain Technology; train 45 workers
- Restore Hope, Little Rock, AR, $130k: Recovery-to-Work program in metal fabrication sector for individuals affected by substance abuse disorder; 16 workers
- Delta Area Economic Opportunity Corporation, Portageville, MO, $150k: Agri-biz work-based learning; train 50 workers
- Missouri State University, West Plains, MO, $95k: Robotics training; 50-75 workers
- ProGeny Place, Memphis, TN, $102k: Food-based manufacturing and distribution certificates for victims of domestic violence; 20 workers
- Rural Health Association, Decaturville, TN, $149k: Pre-apprenticeships for nuring aids and assistants; 500 workers
- theCO, Jackson, TN, $77k: Dev Catalyst Alumni Program in computer science, web development, and data management; 1,800 workers
- Griot Arts, Clarksdale, MS, $127k: Internship-to-Job Pipeline; 35 workers
- Research Park Corporation, Baton Rouge, LA, $150k: Expands Apprenti Louisiana to 57 parishes; 48 workers
- Nicholls State University, Thibodaux, LA, $150k: Boost cybersecurity knowledge to re-employ workers displaced in cybersecurity/cyberdefense
- University of Holy Cross/Delgado Community College, New Orleans, LA, $150k: Bachelor degree completion in Culinology; 10 workers
See video on announcement.