About AEDC | Find Properties | Contact Business Development

Workforce Training in Arkansas

Arkansas’s diverse industrial base provides an ample supply of experienced manufacturing workers. The manufacturing sector accounts for 12.7% of the state’s jobs. Throughout the years, the sector has shifted from agriculture-based to light manufacturing to more sophisticated processes and products such as advanced food packaging, transportation equipment, and primary and fabricated metals.

A workforce that works wonders. As a right-to-work state, Arkansas boasts proud people who step up to any job. We see ourselves not just as a strong workforce but united; dedicated to elevating our communities.

The Arkansas Economic Development Commission (AEDC) has the ability to assist new and existing industry with the growth of their workforce through training programs. In addition, AEDC provides valuable connections with other state agencies and serves as a liaison to the state’s educational system ensuring that training needs are effectively addressed.

AEDC’s Manufacturing Solutions division works closely with many public and private organizations to bring world-class guidance, training, and resources to Arkansas manufacturers.

Statewide Initiatives and Partnerships

The Future Fit program helps to place qualified individuals directly into well-paying jobs with participating companies throughout Arkansas. Participants of Future Fit will complete a training program that will prepare them for entry-level employment with these companies.

The first course will take approximately 96 hours of combined hands-on and on-line training for the basic skills needed to be successful in a manufacturing position. Two additional courses are under development.

For additional information, contact Justin Majors at [email protected].


The State of Arkansas has partnered with ACT to deliver the National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC) to assist companies with identification of applicants which meet job requirements. The NCRC is an evidence-based credential that certifies essential skills for workplace success. Job seekers earn an NCRC by completing assessments in Applied Math, Workplace Documents and Graphic Literacy. Based on the results of these assessments, they are awarded an NCRC at one of four levels: Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum.

ACT National Career Readiness Certificate and Job Profiling

Provides training and consultation, and administers the Governor’s Quality Award Program. Any public or privately held organization of any size located in Arkansas may apply.

The Institute uses the seven categories of the Criteria for Performance Excellence as a guideline for training and application to the Governor’s Quality Award. There are four levels of the application:

  • Challenge
  • Commitment
  • Achievement
  • Governor’s Award for Performance Excellence

Consultants can also assist organizations not applying for an award in performing self-assessments using the Criteria for Performance Excellence. More information can be found at arkansas-quality.org.