Two key reasons many foreign companies (more than 100 and counting) locate and expand in Arkansas are its work force and superb location. LM Wind Power, Beckmann Volmer, Mitsubishi Power Systems Americas, and Nestlé all chose Arkansas because location was critical and a skilled work force is available. The state's central location puts any business in an excellent position for transporting goods to both domestic and international markets.
The fact is, Arkansas is the nation's logistical capital and is a mid-point for North American trade. Its excellent transportation infrastructure and its ability to provide the work force a company needs - and to sustain it - makes it the ideal location for all companies to consider.
With exports totaling more than $1.67 billion in 2009, the aviation and aerospace industry represents Arkansas' number-one value-added export. More than 10,000 people are employed in aerospace occupations including aircraft parts and components, rocketry, air transportation services, aircraft repair and maintenance, and aircraft refurbishing. Other top exports include machinery, cereals, organic chemicals, electrical machinery, meat, plastic, and iron and steel.
Arkansas continues to align its strengths with growing industries throughout the world. This is why aerospace is one of 12 target industries in which we focus our recruiting and expansion efforts. We are open for business for any industry, but for marketing we keep these 12 in our sights: aviation/aerospace, data centers, automotive assembly and suppliers, information technology/telecommunications, logistics, bottled spring water, health and international foods, alternative fuels, wind power, steel, green or sustainable building materials, and bioscience.
What you will find in Arkansas are people with a strong work ethic and available training for whatever the need. There are 11 four-year public universities, 22 two-year public colleges, 12 independent colleges and universities, and three technical universities/vocational-technical schools located in the state.
But more importantly, the Arkansas Economic Development Commission (AEDC), working with other state agencies, offers a Career Readiness Certificate to potential employees. This helps make certain the people you interview are qualified and those you hire have the skills you need. This greatly increases your return on your training dollars.
Additionally, Arkansas' quality of life is exceptional, with a low cost of living; affordable housing; available healthcare; and mountains, lakes, parks for recreational opportunities.
Open for Business
When Governor Mike Beebe took office in January 2007, he set the focus for his administration: education and economic development. They are inseparable. He also sent out the word - Arkansas is open for business.
From January 2007 to date, AEDC has signed commitments with more than 250 companies to either locate or expand in Arkansas - commitments that will create nearly 23,074 jobs, with an investment in our state of almost $5.5 billion. And the numbers continue to grow.
This success has everything to do with location, work force, a business-friendly environment, and the extraordinary quality of life in Arkansas. It also speaks to our customer service when it comes to working with companies.
We have an office in Japan, and project managers for Asia and Europe. We are ready to talk to you today.