Workforce Development

Jordan – DLW Participant

A healthy, prosperous region is one that recognizes the significance of its workforce and invests in the success of those living there. That’s what makes WAPDD’s role under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) in Western Arkansas so critically important.

Some of the goals of this effort include:

  • Increasing the incomes of Arkansans faster than the national average.
  • Expanding entrepreneurship, especially of knowledge-based enterprises.
  • Creating a competitive labor force for businesses, including an effective business retention strategy.
  • Approaching economic development in a way that meets the specialized needs of the various workers and businesses operating in the region.
  • Expanding post-secondary training so more workers enter the workforce equipped for the jobs of the future.

We are proud to play a central role in this effort, and to provide information to workers, business leaders and other community members interested in supporting a strong workforce for Western Arkansas.

WIOA defines success by its commitment to the following principles:

  • The needs of businesses and workers drive workforce solutions. Businesses inform and guide the workforce system and access skilled talent as they shape regional workforce investments and build a pipeline of skilled workers. This engagement includes leadership in the workforce system and active participation in the development and provision of education and training, work-based learning, career pathway and industry sector partnerships. This gives jobseekers, including those who face barriers, the information and guidance to make informed decisions about training and careers, as well as access to the education, training and support services they need to compete in current and future labor markets.
  • Workforce Centers (Arkansas Workforce Centers or AWCs) provide excellent customer service to employers, job seekers, and existing workers with a focus on continuous improvement in a one-stop option. Centers and partners provide jobseekers, including individuals with barriers to employment, such as individuals with disabilities, with the skills and credentials necessary to secure and advance in employment with family-sustaining wages. Additionally, AWCs enable employers to easily identify and hire skilled workers and access other supports, including education and training for their current workforce, while identifying which strategies work better for different populations.
  • A workforce system that supports strong regional economies. Meeting workforce needs is critical to economic growth. State and local workforce development boards, in partnership with workforce, economic development, education, and social service organizations work to align education and training investments to regional economic growth strategies, ensuring that all jobseekers and businesses can access pathways to prosperity.

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