The Existing Business Resource division of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission (AEDC) is specifically focused on understanding the needs of industry and assisting with their growth in the Metro Little Rock Region. AEDC has the ability to assist new and existing industry with the growth of their existing workforce through the use of training programs. The division also 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.
Office of Skills Development (OSD) – A division of the Arkansas Department of Career Education, OSD offers grants that support the development of the Arkansas workforce by strategically investing in training programs that are prioritized by employer needs and economic impact. Businesses and non-profit entities are eligible to apply for training according to the OSD Grants Rules and Regulations.
Grants are available to support training that falls into the following categories:
Grow Your Own – Available to organizations headquartered in Arkansas with 250 or fewer employees.
Skills Gap – Addresses critical gaps in workforce skills having the most direct impact on skills and economic attainment, typically demanded by a regional or industry-wide need, not a single organization.
Customized Technical – Typically associated with highly technical training that is specific to or customized for a certain industry, skill, or equipment.
Professional Development – Typically classroom training associated with soft skills or core academic skills, as would be applicable to a large set of employees. Primary examples include those related to Microsoft Office products as well as Leadership Supervision, Conflict Resolution, and Safety.
Career Readiness Certificate (CRC) – Companies in the Metro Little Rock region can use this program to find qualified applicants for open positions. The CRC program evaluates the skills a job requires and matches them with skills that applicants possess. This allows employers to quickly determine if an applicant will be a suitable fit for the job.
Many employers in the Metro Little Rock region are using the CRC program and report positive hiring, training and retention numbers compared to systems they’ve used in the past.
For more information, contact Kristi Barr (Director, Workforce Development & Education), 501.377.6017.