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Entergy Arkansas Partners with State to Promote Economic Development
Entergy Arkansas is a key partner with the state in a new initiative designed to help communities become more competitive in bringing jobs and investment to Arkansas.
Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson and officials with the Arkansas Economic Development Commission on March 26 launched the Competitive Communities Initiative, an evaluation process that aims to ensure all communities in the state are fully prepared to successfully compete for jobs and investments.
"While the state has been successful in recruiting new business and growing our existing industries, there is still opportunity to bring even more jobs with higher salaries," Hutchinson said. "However, the competition is fierce."
Entergy Arkansas Community Developer Tandee White is primarily responsible for working with the AEDC to evaluate and consult with communities to get them qualified as Competitive Communities. She'll be supported by project managers Joe Bailey and Chris Murphy.
"This program focuses on four key elements that often make for the success or failure of a community at attracting new jobs or keeping the ones they already have," said Danny Games, director of business and economic development for Entergy Arkansas.
The four elements are:
- Having an organized economic development team in place in the community
- Having local funding in place for economic development initiatives
- Having a clear and accurate description of the community's available workforce
- Having sites, either buildings or "shovel-ready" land, that can accommodate new business
"Now the real work begins, and we ask the communities to use the evaluation as a real exercise in learning more about your community and its strengths and weaknesses," said Mike Preston, AEDC executive director. "AEDC wants to come together with you to address any gaps and put Arkansas at the forefront to compete for more jobs with higher-paying wages."