Asa Hutchinson Taps Leon Jones as Labor Director, Charisse Childers as Career Education Director

Gov.-elect Asa Hutchinson has picked Leon Jones Jr. as the new director of the Arkansas Department of Labor, and Charisse Childers as the new director of the Arkansas Department of Career Education.

Jones currently serves as a commissioner for the Fayetteville Housing Authority, Arkansas Fair Housing Commission and the Arkansas Housing Trust Fund.

Jones served as the Hutchinson campaign's minority outreach coordinator, and had been named policy director.

“I previously named [Jones] as my policy director, but his background and law expertise have provided him with the experience and knowledge needed to lead this department, and I am delighted that he has agreed to take on this new role,” Hutchinson said in a statement. 

Jones will replace Ricky Belk.

Childers has served nine years as executive director of Accelerate Arkansas, a statewide group of business and education leaders that work on knowledge-based economic development. She served seven years on the Arkansas State Police Commission and is currently vice chairman of the Arkansas State Police Foundation. 

“[Childers] recognizes the critical nature career education plays in our economy, and she has the experience necessary to lead this department under my administration,” Hutchinson said. 

Childers will replace Bill Walker, who was director since 2007.