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Workforce Development

Workforce Development is where primary, secondary, vocational, and higher educators come together with employers and industry and community leaders to determine career pathways that will guide and prepare students to become well trained and effective employees, business owners, and entrepreneurs. As the landscape of the workforce changes, it is important for communities to come together and form a comprehensive, effective, and collaborative workforce development plan focused on economic development with both short-term and lifelong learning as well as employee recruitment and retention.


Future Opportunities in Rural Workforce and Rural Development is a program of the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities and Ascendium aimed to identify career pathways for potential workers and connect the community and current programs to support resources.  FORWARD was piloted with University of Arkansas Extension in Hempstead County, as well another county in each Indiana and Utah. A curriculum is being developed to become a tool for County Extension Agents nationwide.

Following the work in FORWARD our Community, Workforce, and Economic Development team is working with agents throughout the state of Arkansas to create a more Arkansas-centric program that fits the specific workforce needs of our rural counties.

Create Lift

(Celebrating REtail, Accommodations, Tourism and Entertainment by Leading Innovation through WorkForce Training) is a workforce development certification focused on skills and information for those working in retail, entertainment, accommodations, and/or tourism sectors.

Developed through CREATE BRIDGES, CREATE LIFT is a ten hour self-led program available in both English and Spanish.

Check out Create Lift!.