WASHINGTON, DC – Southwest Arkansas Development Alliance in partnership with Southwest Arkansas Education Cooperative, DeQueen Mena Education Service Cooperative, South Central Service Cooperative, University of Arkansas Hope – Texarkana, and Southwest Arkansas Planning and Development District has received a 2019 Aliceann Wohlbruck Impact Award from the National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) for the Explore Success Youth Manufacturing Conference.
The Southwest Arkansas Development
Alliance (SADA) partnered with the Southwest Arkansas Education Cooperative,
DeQueen Mena Education Service Cooperative, South Central Service Cooperative,
University of Arkansas Hope – Texarkana, and Southwest Arkansas Planning and
Development District hosted the first annual Explore Success, a regional career
expo and job fair for youth. SADA is an 8 county regional group made up of
primarily economic developers whose mission is to provide leadership required
to attract, promote, and support new and existing enterprise growth throughout
the Southwest Arkansas region. The Explore Success event was held in the fall
of 2018 in conjunction with manufacturing day for 8th graders. This event
invited employers from all over Southwest Arkansas to meet with the students
and give them information on what their company does and what it takes to
become employed. The event began with Paul Vitale, a motivational speaker who
encouraged the students. The students were then broken into groups where they
heard from individual employers and visited booths. Approximately 1,200
students participated representing 16 schools. Approximately 25 employers were
on hand which included Lockheed Martin, Domtar, Tyson Foods, Firestone, Cooper
Tire, and many others. In addition to the fall event, The Explore Success Job
Fair was held for 11th and 12th graders in the spring of 2019. This event
included guest speakers representing local business and industry along with a
traditional job fair. Approximately 800 juniors and seniors participated
representing 10 schools and 35 employers.
NADO is a Washington, DC-based membership association of regional development organizations that promote programs and policies that strengthen local governments, communities, and economies through regional cooperation, program delivery, and comprehensive strategies. The association’s Impact Awards program recognizes regional development organizations and their partners for improving the economic and community competitiveness of our nation’s regions and local communities.
Award-winning projects were honored during NADO’s 2019 Annual Training Conference, held October 19-22 in Reno, NV. The 2019 class of award recipients consists of 100 projects from 66 organizations spanning 24 states. These projects are presented in an interactive “Story Map” developed by NADO and CivicLens that includes project summaries and partners. The Story Map is available online at: https://www.nado.org/impactawards/.
“The Aliceann Wohlbruck Impact Awards program is an opportunity each year for NADO to publicly recognize the important services that regional development organizations deliver to their local communities,” said 2018-2019 NADO President Scott Koons, executive director of the North Central Florida Regional Planning Council, located in Gainesville. “The projects awarded have made significant impacts on their regions and demonstrate the diversity of programs and resources provided by regional development organizations across the country.”
The NADO Impact Awards are presented in honor of the late Aliceann Wohlbruck who was NADO’s first executive director and served 24 years as a tireless champion for regional approaches to economic development in rural communities.
For more information about this award-winning project, contact Steve Harris, SADA Chair, (870) 777-8485, [email protected]