UACES Facebook Arkansas Workforce Development
skip to main content

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.

FORWARD (Future Opportunities in Rural Workforce and Rural Development)

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. Curriculum is being developed 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.

Explore FORWARD Curriculum

Center for Rural Resilience and Workforce Development

The Center for Rural Resilience and Workforce Development was launched in 2023 thanks to a five-year award from the Economic Development Administration (EDA) University Center (UC) program. The purpose of EDA’s UC program is to leverage institutions of higher-education and university assets to build regional economic ecosystems that support innovation and high-growth entrepreneurship, resiliency, and inclusiveness. UADA Extension joins a select group of Extensions to lead a University Center. 
The Center is responsible for supporting the eight EDA-funded Economic and Planning Development Districts through training and technical assistance, applied research, and dissemination of information.
Along with serving Hispanic, and Marshallese communities across the state, the center also serves as a hub for workforce data thanks to a partnership with Heartland Forward and the Arkansas Economic Development Institute’s State Data Center.

Stay connected!

Sign up for our bi-weekly newsletter to learn about funding opportunities, events from the EDA, Center, and more.