Cody Waits Named Director of Arkansas Workforce Connection Division

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Little Rock, Ark. (March 29, 2024) – The Arkansas Department of Commerce has named Cody Waits as the first director of the newly created Arkansas Workforce Connection division.

“Building a strong workforce is critical to ensuring the long-term success of our economy in Arkansas,” said Secretary of Commerce Hugh McDonald. “Arkansas Workforce Connection will play a major role in overseeing the implementation of workforce programs in the Natural State and developing the talent pipeline that our businesses and industries will need in the coming years. With his extensive experience in workforce development, Cody is the perfect director for this division, and I look forward to working with him on this initiative.”

Cody Waits

Waits previously served as the director of the Arkansas Office of Skills Development, a division of the Department of Commerce, from 2019 to 2023. He also served as deputy director of the Department of Career Education from 2017 to 2019. Most recently, he served as Senior Government Engagement Manager for Transfr, a virtual reality (VR) based vocational career exploration and pre-apprentice training company.

“Workforce development is a major priority for Governor Sanders and Secretary McDonald, and I am excited to be part of this effort,” said Cody Waits, director of Arkansas Workforce Connection. “I am honored to join the Department of Commerce’s Arkansas Workforce Connection team to help prepare Arkansans for career opportunities that meet the needs of our state’s growing economy.”

Arkansas Workforce Connection will be responsible for executing state and federal workforce development programs that are located in multiple Commerce divisions and coordinating with local workforce development boards. Arkansas Workforce Connection will house the Office of Skills Development, Employer Workforce Programming that supports new and expanding businesses to meet their workforce needs; Adult Education (Title II); Arkansas Rehabilitation Services (Title IV); Services for the Blind (Title IV); and Employment Services (Titles I and III).

This division was created as a result of the Department of Commerce’s realignment process, which reorganized the Arkansas Division of Workforce Services into three new divisions: Re-employment, Arkansas Workforce Connection, and Workforce Policy and Innovation.

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