Northwest Arkansas Council's 3-Year Plan to Focus on Workforce, Schools


Northwest Arkansas Council's 3-Year Plan to Focus on Workforce, Schools
Mike Malone

The Northwest Arkansas Council announced a three-year development plan for the region at its winter meeting Tuesday in Rogers.

The council had developed its five-year Greater Northwest Arkansas Development Strategy in 2011. Officials said the council had achieved nearly every goal laid out in that plan.

The newly developed plan will focus on the area’s workforce and employers’ relationship with schools, improving the region’s infrastructure and developing future leaders.

"We’re not restarting with a series of all new things in the new plan," said Mike Malone, president and CEO of the Northwest Arkansas Council. "Instead, we’re adding key pieces, and we’re going to build on the work that we think has gone so well for the past four years."

The council’s executive committee began to formulate the new action plan in mid-2014 and hired consultant Ted Abernathy to assist in the development. Abernathy is the managing partner of Economic Leadership LLC and an economic development advisor for the Southern Governors’ Association.

"The five-year plan was an incredible win for the region," Abernathy said. "When something is working, you keep doing it, and that’s what the next three-year plan sets out to do with some additions in a few key work areas."


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