Arkansas Economic Development Commission


Arkansas Ranks 2nd in U.S. for Nonfarm Job Gains as Civilian Labor Force Nears All-Time High

September 6, 2017

According to the latest data from the U.S. Department of Labor, Arkansas experienced the second-largest percentage gain in year-over-year nonfarm employment. This increase lead to the addition of nearly 33,000 jobs to an economy with a near-record number of workers coming into the state’s labor force. Oregon was the only state to surpass Arkansas in the percentage of year-over-year percentage increases in nonfarm employment. The news reaffirms that Arkansas has an ever-growing job market with more companies bringing jobs to the state.

Arkansas Forestry Industry Manages Wildfire Threat

August 18, 2017

The wood basket of the world is made up of 13 states in the southeast United States, and two territories, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. This southern group of foresters works together to produce more commercial timber than any other region in the world. In order to remain the top producer, professional foresters have to manage the forests across the south and protect them from the dangers of wildfires.

Nanotechnology, Chemical Engineering Adding to High-Tech Forestry in Arkansas

August 16, 2017

Arkansas is leading the way in advanced-technology forestry. The timber and forest-products industry is often thought of as being a low-tech industry, but in reality, it is anything but. The use of cutting-edge developments like nanotechnology, chemical engineering and computer programming, has transformed the way timber is harvested and how products are produced from raw materials.

Arkansas Timber Industry Focuses on Eco-Friendly Forestry & Management

August 15, 2017

In order for the timber and forest products industry in Arkansas to succeed and thrive, those in the industry must continue to work together to provide healthier, sustainable forests. Forestry is a long-term production process that involves landowners, foresters and regulatory agencies.

AEDC Director Discusses U.S.-China Rice & Beef Trade, NAFTA Negotiations

August 14, 2017

Mike Preston, executive director of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission (AEDC), recently appeared on Talk Business & Politics to discuss how recent trips to China are increasing global business expansion in Arkansas. Preston traveled to China with Governor Asa Hutchinson to recruit potential manufacturers and to open additional agricultural markets for the state. 

Healthy Forests Contribute to Sustainable Renewable Resources

August 11, 2017

With a global population of 7.5 billion and growing, the need for sustainable, renewable resources will also continue to grow. Currently, the southern United States produces between 15 to 20 percent of all the commercial wood produced in the world. The most important growth markets for export of timber and forest products for this region will be Mexico, Central America, South America and Asia, as well as continued trade with Europe.

Gov. Hutchinson Introduces New ArFuture Grant – Gives Arkansans Access to Affordable Higher Education

August 8, 2017

Arkansas Economic Development Commission announces Arkansas future grant program for non-traditional studentsGovernor Asa Hutchinson recently announced the creation of the “Arkansas Future Grant” (ArFuture) for traditional, home school and non-traditional students in Arkansas. This state-funded grant would be available on a first come, first serve basis and provide two years of tuition and fees at an Arkansas community or technical college to any student who enrolls in a high-demand field of study, such as computer science or welding.

Highland Pellets Creates Sustainable Fuel for the Future of Arkansas

August 4, 2017

AEDC discusses Highland Pellets is leading the way as a producer of sustainably sourced biomassAn Arkansas company is blazing the trail in the timber and forest products industry as a producer of sustainably sourced biomass. In April of this year, Highland Pellets delivered its first shipment of sustainable wood pellets to Drax Biomass in the United Kingdom to be used as a coal substitute to power fuel stations. The company’s new wood pellet facility in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, will produce more than 660,000 tons of pellets per year when it reaches full capacity. 

Arkansas Business Incentives Draw Chinese Technology Group

August 1, 2017

AEDC Chinese Technology Group Comes to Arkansas for Business IncentivesShandong Ruyi Technology Group, a privately held textile manufacturer based in China, announced that it will invest $410 million in the former Sanyo manufacturing facility in Forrest City, where Arkansas cotton will be spun into yarn for textile use. The decision will have a significant impact on economic development in Arkansas for both cotton farmers and the surrounding communities, as the facility will create up to 800 new jobs. The new textile plant will be the company’s first expansion in North America.

Arkansas Timber Industry Provides Value with Incentives, Rebates

July 26, 2017

It’s a great time to be in the timber and forest products industry, especially in the state of Arkansas. In addition to an abundance of timber, sustainable resources, and a skilled workforce, companies from around the world are opening facilities in the state because of the added value of forest-products tax and investment incentives, payroll rebates, training programs, and pulp-and-paper industry infrastructure grants. Since January 2015, the state of Arkansas has signed incentive agreements with 29 forest products companies for 17 different locations.