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Cody Waits to Lead New State Workforce Division

2 min read

Cody Waits has been named the first director of the newly-created Arkansas Workforce Connection division, the Arkansas Department of Commerce announced Friday.

Waits joins the division from Transfr Inc. of New York, a virtual reality-based vocational career exploration and pre-apprentice training company, where he held the title of senior government engagement manager.

He previously served as the director of the Arkansas Office of Skills Development, a division of the Department of Commerce, from 2019 to 2023. He also served as deputy director of the Department of Career Education from 2017 to 2019.

In his new role, he’ll oversee Arkansas Workforce Connection’s management of state and federal workforce development programs within the Department of Commerce and coordinate with local workforce development boards. Arkansas Workforce Connection will house the Office of Skills Development; Adult Education; Arkansas Rehabilitation Services; Services for the Blind; and Employment Services.

The division was created as a result of a reorganization of the Division of Workforce Services into three new divisions: Arkansas Workforce Connection, Workforce Policy and Innovation, and Re-employment (formerly Unemployment Insurance).

“Building a strong workforce is critical to ensuring the long-term success of our economy in Arkansas,” Secretary of Commerce Hugh McDonald said in a statement. “Arkansas Workforce Connection will play a major role in overseeing the implementation of workforce programs in the Natural State and developing the talent pipeline that our businesses and industries will need in the coming years.

“With his extensive experience in workforce development, Cody is the perfect director for this division, and I look forward to working with him on this initiative.”

Waits’ salary is $169,900.



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