The workforce in our region is a diverse set of people with adaptable skills. With many colleges and technical schools, we offer countless degrees and certifications. In fact, 42 percent of our population is ready for the training needed to excel in any professional field, and the central location of our region allows employers accesses to both a rural and an urban employee base.
East Arkansas industry employs roughly 63,000 workers. Like most of the United States, Arkansas’s service industry accounts for the largest percentage of jobs in the state. Both manufacturing and agriculture, however, still play an important role in the local economy.
Prime Turbines in Wynne, Ark. Photo by Brock Meeler.
Workforce development is a priority of the state’s technical colleges and institutes, which work with local business and industry to meet existing and new workforce needs. More than 95 percent of the state’s population lives within a 30-mile radius of one of these institutions.
The Arkansas Delta Training and Education Consortium (ADTEC) is an award-winning partnership of the five community colleges in our region. Created in 2005, ADTEC provides a regional approach to workforce development. Member colleges collaborate to share curriculum, support strategies, and offer industry input regarding the training needs of the region. Heralded as the national model for workforce training, the ADTEC colleges can offer leading-edge, turn-key training solutions to support new, existing and expanding industries of all levels.
■ Production Transportation constitutes nearly 20 percent of jobs in the Crossroads region
■ Manufacturing constitutes about 14 percent of Arkansas GDP (BEA 2012)
■ The state's Business and Industry Training Program, designed for new and expanding industry, helps companies with recruiting workers, pre-employment training and on-the-job training.
■ The Existing Workforce Training Program provides financial assistance to Arkansas businesses to upgrade technology skills needed to remain competitive and economically viable.
■ Relying on extensive employer involvement, the Arkansas Association of Two-Year Colleges developed the Workforce Readiness Curriculum. The association's Workforce Consortium serves more than 2,100 Arkansas businesses each year.
■ Arkansas offers one of the most progressive workers' compensation insurance, making it affordable for employers and guaranteeing that employees will be compensated fairly and thoroughly for compensable injuries.
■ As a right-to-work state, Arkansas prohibits making union membership a condition for employment.
A worker at the Addison Shoe facility in Wynne. Photo by Brock Meeler.