Governor Hutchinson has positioned Arkansas as a leader in STEM education. Through an innovative program the Governor created and funded, every high school student in the state now has access to computer coding classes. Wired magazine published an article highlighting this initiative titled “So, Arkansas Is Leading the Learn to Code Movement.” The article noted Arkansas was the first state “to pass a truly comprehensive law requiring all public and charter high schools to offer computer science courses to students, beating better known tech centers like California and New York to the punch.”
There are currently 70,200 more Arkansans employed than there were in January 2015 when Governor Hutchinson took office. Over the last two years the Arkansas Economic Development Commission (AEDC) has worked with 250 new and expanding companies that are bringing more than $4 billion in new capital investment to the state along with 10,000 new jobs. Arkansas’ unemployment rate has remained below the national average for 17 consecutive months and is currently at an all-time low of 3.6%.
Arkansas has a rich entrepreneurial history that continues today. Six Fortune 500 companies were started and are currently headquartered in Arkansas. From the world’s largest retailer (Walmart) to the largest processor and marketer of chicken, beef and pork (Tyson Foods), the state’s business climate supports world-class brands. The cost of doing business in Arkansas is the fifth lowest among all states (CNBC) and our electric rates remain 20 percent below the national average (Forbes). A strong relationship between employers and institutions of higher education allows companies to develop training programs that meet their specific needs.
We understand your time is valuable. A team is in place at AEDC ready to get you the information you need quickly and efficiently. In Arkansas, an answer is always just a phone call away and Governor Hutchinson, our chief economic developer, truly understands the needs of business. C-level executives and consultants continue to take notice of the team in Arkansas. In fact, Consultant Connect recently named Bentley Story, AEDC’s director of business development, among the top 50 economic developers in the United States.