WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Mark Pryor and John Boozman today announced that the Economic Development Administration will award the Southwest Arkansas Planning Development District a $150,000 grant for its Stronger Economies Together (SET) initiative. The funding will be used to support a workforce development mapping project and the creation of a regional business retention and expansion program in Columbia, Hempstead, Howard, Lafayette, Little River, Miller, Nevada, and Sevier Counties.
“A skilled, experienced workforce is critical to the growth of our state’s businesses,” Pryor said. “This funding will maximize workforce development efforts in southwest Arkansas so our job training programs better match the needs of our regional businesses and industries.”
“Our focus needs to be on job creation and creating policies that promote private sector job growth,” Boozman said. “This funding is an investment in the region’s workforce as we empower Arkansans with the knowledge and skills they require to meet the needs of area employers.”
The Stronger Economies Together (SET) initiative was launched by the USDA in 2009 in an effort to implement an economic development blueprint that would improve rural America’s ability to take advantage of current and emerging regional economic strengths.