Arkansas Named #1 State for Workforce Development in South Central Region

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Arkansas has been ranked as the top state for workforce development in the South Central region of the United States.

Site Selection magazine named Arkansas as the #1 state in its region for the 2024 Regional Workforce Development Rankings. This study aims to provide “high-level measures of states’ workforce development climates” and to “gauge workforce-related aspects of states’ overall employment climate” that can be applied across the country.

“We have a strong workforce in Arkansas, and through our workforce development efforts, we are ensuring that our pipeline of talent remains strong,” said Clint O’Neal, executive director of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission. “Thank you to Site Selection magazine for the recognition of our state’s collective efforts to build a robust workforce pipeline. Most of all, thanks to the Arkansans who are helping to build the state’s future by participating in these workforce development efforts.”

Arkansas rose one spot on the Site Selection list this year. In 2023, Site Selection ranked Arkansas as the #2 state for workforce development in the South Central region.

The other states in the South Central region, in descending order on the Site Selection list, include Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Kentucky, and Oklahoma.

To compile the Regional Workforce Development Rankings, the Site Selection staff used multiple components. These components included CNBC’s America’s Top States for Business rankings, U.S. News’ 2023 Best States for Education rankings, the ACT National Career Readiness Certificates for 2023, the Workforce Preparation and Development component of the Council for Community and Economic Research’s State Economic Development Program Expenditures Database, and each state’s financial incentive program for work-based learning as reported in the Education Commission of the States’ September 2023 50-State Comparison.

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