Arkansas’ Workforce Skills Gap

Randy Zook

State Chamber of Commerce CEO Randy Zook and other state and industry experts warned job recruiters Tuesday the state’s most critical workforce issue is finding enough skilled talent in a tight job market to fill thousands of good-paying jobs.

Speaking at the Chamber’s annual Mid-South Basic Economic Development Course in Little Rock, Zook challenged the class of 42 economic developers and chamber of commerce officials from across the state to find ways to get industry, school and community leaders at the same table to design a strategy to address what he called the state’s most pressing workforce concern.

“Every day, all I hear from our members and Arkansas businesses from across the state is that they need workers,” Zook said. “Is there anybody here that has plenty of folks that are skilled and ready to go to work that are champing at the bit and will show up three days in a row? This is the universal problem. A lot of chamber people have been beating this drum that we are short (workers) and it is getting worse every day. That is a brutal hard fact to get people to listen to.”    MORE

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