UACES Facebook Center for Rural Resilience and Workforce Development
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About the Center

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, Cooperative Extension Service (UADA-Extension) joins the ranks of just a handful of Extension programs leading a U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) University Center (UC) since the programs started in 1980.

Who do we serve?

We serve the entire state of Arkansas, and we have a particular interest in reaching rural, Hispanic, and Marshallese communities across the state of Arkansas by strengthening, supporting, and sustaining the eight EDA Economic and Planning Development Districts across the state.

There are a total eight districts that serve all 75 counties ranging from six to twelve counties each. You can find your district by county using the map below.

Each district provides a range of services including:

  • grant writing
  • planning
  • community and economic development
  • project administration for economic development projects.

In addition, each district is required to develop a Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS), a planning tool of the EDA that is a strategy-driven plan for regional economic development that is place-based and specific to the needs and opportunities of the region.

Find Your EDA Development District

Program Services

Our EDA University Center serves as a resource to the state of Arkansas’ economic development ecosystem with a particular focus on:

  • increasing the capacity of planning and development districts to serve Rural, Hispanic, and Marshallese communities through culturally relevant program support
  • serving as an economic development data resource center with a particular focus on workforce data that increases economic development resiliency
  • strengthening the economic development ecosystem in Arkansas counties that draws on Extension’s land grant mission and presence in all 75 counties.

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Because each district and region has unique challenges and opportunities, we use an individualized approach with an asset-based community development lens that leverages the strengths of Extension programming, relationships, and university resources and expertise.

Training & Technical Assistance

We support districts and communities through individualized capacity-building programming tailored to each district and community's needs through grant writing training, leadership development opportunities, data interpretation and visualization, strategic planning/doing, and assistance.

We equip county Extension agents and local partners with the tools, through the FORWARD curriculum, to build and create change within workforce development.

Applied Research

We conduct research designed to bridge the data gap, empowering communities with essential information for informed decision-making. 

Our Labor Market Observatory (LMO) dashboards (COMING SOON) will aggregate data on demographics, key industries, employment data and labor statistics, offering a holistic view of the landscape within the different regions of Arkansas.


Dissemination of Information

We will produce annual research finding reports which will include general demographic trends, industry data, labor snapshots and employment statistics for the region and covered counties. These reports will act as a "storytelling" piece of the project, interpreting data for regions of Arkansas and for the populations that live in them.

Our goal is to foster collaboration and inclusion of other community partners and organizations across the state that work in parallel ecosystems of community, economic, and workforce development.


Strategic Partnerships

heartland forward logo

Heartland Forward, an institute for economic renewal, is a nonpartisan, nonprofit “think and do tank” focused on improving economic performance in the center of the United States. As a strategic partner and to the RRWD, they will develop "Labor Market Observatories" for each of the EDA Development Districts and their communities highlighting labor supply and demand and utilize their human capital and workforce development experts to coach UADA-Extension county agents through the FORWARD workforce curriculum.

AEDI logo

Arkansas Economic Development Institute (AEDI), is a main asset for economic development information for communities and industry across Arkansas. Through their State Data Center, they will provide information, research, and human capital experts to assist with data-related projects to support the work of RRWD and the eight EDA-Development Districts

Funded in part by

EDA logo

EDA University Center

The purpose of EDA’s University Center program is to enable institutions of higher education and consortia of these institutions to establish and operate University Centers focused on leveraging university assets to build regional economic ecosystems that support innovation and high-growth entrepreneurship, resiliency, and inclusiveness.
Learn more.

Labor Market Observatory (COMING SOON)

FACT Sheet Newsletter Sign-up


Meet the Team

  • hunter p goodman 
    Hunter P. Goodman, Ph.D.
    Center Director
    Assistant Professor | Community, Workforce & Economic Development

  • brandon l mathews

    Brandon L. Mathews, MPS
    Program Manager
    Program Associate | Economic Development

  • Tabatha Duvall

    Tabatha Duvall
    Program Associate | Community, Workforce & Economic Development

  • David Shideler, Ph.D.

    David Shideler, Ph.D.
    Strategic Partner
    Chief Research Officer | Heartland Forward 

    rodrigo rameriz-perez

    Rodrigo Ramirez-Perez
    Hispanic Liaison
    Research Analyst | Heartland Forward 


For general inquiries, contact Tabatha Duvall at