Building a 21st Century Economy in Arkansas
                         October 2008
FIND ING S AND RECOMMENDATI ON S OF T HE...
Building a 21st Century Economy in Arkansas
Findings and Recommendations of the Task Force for the 21st Century Economy

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BUILDING A 21st CENTURY ECONOMY IN ARKANSAS
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BUILDING A 21st CENTURY ECONOMY IN ARKANSAS
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Foreword
                                      Dianne Lamberth, Chair




   October 31, 2008


   Governor Mike Beebe
   ...
I would like to compliment you, the Governor and the Legislature, for your vision in
seeing the need to identify the chall...
This body of work would not have been possible without the dedicated Staff from
AEDC, ADFA, the Governor’s Office and Inst...
Between 1950 and 2000, the State of Arkansas took steps to move its
Executive             economy from an agriculture base...
BUILDING A 21st CENTURY ECONOMY IN ARKANSAS
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                              Role           Recommendation
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                                             The process used to identify ...
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                                             Other Issues for Consideratio...
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      Staff                                                              ...
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     Since agriculture and manufacturing provide
a base for our current e...
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    Specifically, the Task Force for the 21st Century                     ...
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     vocational-technical programs affiliate                           Oth...
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jobs, wealth, and economic well being. According                      ...
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    The highest priority recommendation of the                           ...
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Education
        K-12 Education

  The highest priority scope of K-12 ed...
21st Century Ar Task Force
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21st Century Ar Task Force
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21st Century Ar Task Force

  1. 1. Building a 21st Century Economy in Arkansas October 2008 FIND ING S AND RECOMMENDATI ON S OF T HE TAS K FORC E FOR T HE 21 s t C E N T URY ECO NO MY
  2. 2. Building a 21st Century Economy in Arkansas Findings and Recommendations of the Task Force for the 21st Century Economy Task Force for the 21st Century Economy Dianne Lamberth, Chair Judy Adams John Barnes Gary Campbell Clay Curtner Guy Fenter Bill Ferren James Hendren Gene Hill Mike Maulden Mickey Pierce Brad Lacey Pat Lea Sam Walls John Ahlen Mac Dodson Gene Eagle Maria Haley Chris Masingill Randy Zook Morris Jenkins October 31, 2008
  3. 3. BUILDING A 21st CENTURY ECONOMY IN ARKANSAS I Contents Foreword Executive Summary: Recommendations of the Task Force ...............................................................1 Introduction .....................................................................................................................................................7 The 21st Century Economy ................................................................................................................8 Role and Scope of Economic Development ........................................................................................ 11 Education ............................................................................................................................................. 11 K-12 Education ......................................................................................................................... 12 Post Secondary Education .................................................................................................... 12 Workforce Education .............................................................................................................. 13 Other Education Recommendations .................................................................................. 14 Research and Development ............................................................................................................ 15 Entrepreneurship ............................................................................................................................... 15 Risk Capital .......................................................................................................................................... 16 Existing Business Innovation .......................................................................................................... 17 Infrastructure ...................................................................................................................................... 17 Direct Economic Development Policies ....................................................................................... 18 Programs and Services for the 21st Century Economy ................................................................... 21 Education ............................................................................................................................................. 22 K-12 Education ......................................................................................................................... 22 Post Secondary Education .................................................................................................... 22 Workforce Education .............................................................................................................. 22 Other Education Recommendations .................................................................................. 23 Research and Development ............................................................................................................ 23 Entrepreneurship ............................................................................................................................... 23 Risk Capital .......................................................................................................................................... 24 Existing Business Innovation .......................................................................................................... 24 Infrastructure ...................................................................................................................................... 25 Direct Economic Policies .................................................................................................................. 25 A Constitutional Issue: Arkansas as an Equity Investor in 21st Century Firms........................ 27 Organization of Economic Development Activities in Arkansas ................................................. 31 Conclusion ..................................................................................................................................................... 35 Afterword: Additional Issues for Consideration ............................................................................... 37 F i n d i n g s a n d R e c o m m e n d a t i o n s o f t h e T a s k Fo r c e f o r t h e 2 1 s t C e n t u r y E c o n o m y
  4. 4. BUILDING A 21st CENTURY ECONOMY IN ARKANSAS III Appendixes A. Task Force for the Twenty First Century May 13, 2008 Economy Interim Report Building a Better Future B. Act 1024 Arkansas: A State of Character C. Complete List of Suggested Roles, Scopes and June 3, 2008 Strategies Delta Training and Education D. Inventory of State Economic Development Consortium Programs June10, 2008 E. Minutes of Task Force Meetings and Documents Presented to the Task Force Factors of Production January 30, 2008—April 7, 2008 July 8, 2008 January 30, 2008 July 22, 2008 February 12, 2008 July 28, 2008 ASTA Presentation August 12, 2008 AECD Strategic Plan September 2, 2008 March 11, 2008 September 11, 2008 Arkansas: A Natural For Business September 17, 2008 The Future of Arkansas Higher September 23, 2008 Education Resource Guide for Technology-based Next Steps for Arkansas’s Future Economic Development Three Forces Changing Our Nation’s September 30, 2008 Future October 3, 2008 April 7, 2008 October 14, 2008 ABED Initiative Study October 22, 2008 Characteristics of a 21st Century G. Additional Resources Presented to the Task Economy Force Arkansas Research Alliance Missouri Downtown Economic Stimulus Act F. Minutes of Task Force Meetings and (MODESA) Documents Presented to the Task Force Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Engaging April 22, 2008—October 22, 2008 and Energizing Arkansans for a Brighter Economic Future: Executive Summary April 22, 2008 Report of the Task Force for the Creation of Education, Regionalism Seen as Knowledge-Based Jobs Economic Development Keys H. Access to Success: Increasing Arkansas’s May 6, 2008 College Graduates Promotes Economic Arkansas in the Global Economy Development The Rules Have Changed A p p e n d ix es ma y be found on a c c ompa nying C D . F i n d i n g s a n d R e c o m m e n d a t i o n s o f t h e T a s k Fo r c e f o r t h e 2 1 s t C e n t u r y E c o n o m y
  5. 5. Foreword Dianne Lamberth, Chair October 31, 2008 Governor Mike Beebe Members of the Arkansas General Assembly Governor Beebe and Honorable Members: It is with great pleasure that I present to you the findings and recommendations of the Arkansas Task Force for the 21st Century Economy. Since its inception, as required by Act 1024 of 2007, the members and staff of the Task Force have worked diligently to understand the emerging economic conditions of the 21st Century and their impacts upon Arkansas. The charge of the Task force was to: • define the role and scope of economic development in Arkansas, • define the programs and services needed for the state and its communities to be globally competitive within the role and scope of 21st Century economic development, • determine the advisability of removal of the constitutional prohibition on state equity investments in private enterprise by economic development agencies; and, • study the organizational structure necessary for an efficient and effective 21st Century state economic development system.
  6. 6. I would like to compliment you, the Governor and the Legislature, for your vision in seeing the need to identify the challenges and opportunities of the 21st Century Economy and then to prepare our state to be competitive within it. I also want to express my appreciation for the expertise that was assembled on this task force by your appointments. My thanks go to all of the members of the Task Force for their spirited conversation and debate, their many long hours of dedicated work, and their commitment to this project. The Task Force members are: Appointed by the Governor Dianne Lamberth, Batesville, Chair Judy Adams, Foreman Guy Fenter, Charleston Bill Ferren, Pine Bluff Gene Hill, Camden Mike Maulden, Little Rock Appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives John Barnes, Little Rock Mickey Pierce, Stuttgart Brad Lacey, Conway Appointed by the President Pro Tempore of the Senate Pat Lea, Batesville Clay Curtner, Newport Sam Walls, Little Rock Appointed by Accelerate Arkansas Gary Campbell, Fort Smith James Hendren, Little Rock Representing the Arkansas Science and Technology Authority John Ahlen, President Representing the Arkansas Development Finance Authority Mac Dodson, President Gene Eagle, Vice President, Finance Representing the Arkansas Economic Development Commission Maria Haley, Executive Director Randy Zook, President and CEO, Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce and Associated Industries of Arkansas Representing the Office of the Governor Chris Masingill, Little Rock, Director of Agency and External Affairs
  7. 7. This body of work would not have been possible without the dedicated Staff from AEDC, ADFA, the Governor’s Office and Institute for Economic Advancement at UALR They have labored tirelessly to provide us with the research and support we needed and to put together this final document. I would like to thank them for their quality work and keeping us on schedule: Arkansas Economic Development Commission Lisa Cogbill, Communications Specialist Office of the Governor Valerie Hendrix, Administrative Assistant Amanda Richardson, Administrative Assistant UALR Institute for Economic Advancement James L. Youngquist, Director Teresa A. McLendon, Senior Research Specialist Randall G. Wright, Associate Director Tonya G. Hass, Assistant Research Extension Specialist Michael L. Gerfen, Coordinator, Workplace Skills Enhancement Program Jan L. Gibson, Business Manager Vaughan S. Wingfield, Associate Research Specialist Susan M. Jackson, Desktop Publisher Our work could not have been completed without the participation of dozens of representatives from communities and organizations around the state who presented us with information about issues and gave us their insights about programs and institutions that are successfully leading us into the future. I would like to thank you for the opportunity to be of service to Arkansas, and look forward to seeing our recommendations help us to build an economy bright with the promise of prosperity. Sincerely, Dianne Lamberth, Chair
  8. 8. Between 1950 and 2000, the State of Arkansas took steps to move its Executive economy from an agriculture base to a manufacturing base by creat- ing the agencies, programs, and incentives needed to attract manu- Summary: facturing companies to Arkansas. The strategies that worked then are no longer effective in providing the jobs and incomes we need to support the people of Arkansas. We exist in a global, highly competi- Recommendations tive economy of instantaneous communications and rapid change. of the Task Force Businesses that are to grow in today’s highly competitive environ- ment demand a more highly skilled and educated workforce than in the past, as well as a physical and human resource infrastructure that is more advanced than the 20th Century infrastructure. The Task Force for the 21st Century Economy was established by the 86th General Assembly of Arkansas to study the role and scope of economic development in the 21st Century in Arkansas, and to iden- tify the programs and services needed for continued development in Arkansas. Additional objectives mandated to the Task Force were to examine the constitutional prohibition on state equity invest- ments and the current structure of the state’s economic develop- ment agencies in light of the needs of a 21st Century Economy. Role & Scope of Economic Development Economic development is influenced by—and affects—nearly every aspect of life in Arkansas. The Task Force identified nine roles of eco- nomic development, and during its many months of work, developed recommendations for changes in policies and strategies for each role, and each scope within. The highest priority recommendations of the Task Force for role and scope of economic development are described on pages 11-201, and are listed on page 2: 1 A complete list of all role, scope, and strategy statements of the Task Force is found in Appendix C.
  9. 9. BUILDING A 21st CENTURY ECONOMY IN ARKANSAS 2 Role Recommendation K-12 education: Enhance science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) educator talent by providing salary enhancements for Nationally Board Certified math and science teachers as an economic development investment. Phase out the number of students that opt out over the next six years by strongly encouraging school districts to adopt curriculum models that will eventually make opting out unnecessary. Post-secondary education: Enhance incentives to encourage students to go into STEM four-year degree programs, including secondary math and science education. Workforce education: Review and coordinate the existing workforce training programs to support the Arkansas Economic Development Commission’s (AEDC’s) targeted industries with an emphasis on best practices and support of the state’s strategic economic development initiatives. Education Adopt the recommendations of the Task Force on Higher Education Remediation, Retention, and Graduation. Pass a constitutional amendment to Amendments 60 and 65 of the Arkansas Constitution that would eliminate the interest rate caps for the Arkansas Student Loan Authority (ASLA). Research and development: Expand the job-creating research and development capabilities of our universities through sustained state investment in research infrastructure and science and engineering talent. Entrepreneurship: Develop an economics and entrepreneurship curriculum appropriate for grades K-16, including classes in personal finance. Risk capital: Increase the availability of risk capital for state supported investment in early stage technology start-ups. Existing business innovation: Expand research and development (R&D) incentives for industry; financially support business retention and expansion activities through AEDC’s existing Business Retention and Expansion program, the Arkansas Science and Technology Authority’s (ASTA’s) Arkansas Manufacturing Solutions, and a variety of Arkansas Development Finance Authority (ADFA) programs; and increase incentives for existing businesses to modernize their processes through R&D and modernization of their equipment. Infrastructure: Create a 21st Century cyberinfrastructure. Economic development activities: Make Arkansas globally competitive in business and industry recruitment. F i n d i n g s a n d R e c o m m e n d a t i o n s o f t h e T a s k Fo r c e f o r t h e 2 1 s t C e n t u r y E c o n o m y
  10. 10. BUILDING A 21st CENTURY ECONOMY IN ARKANSAS 3 Education Programs STEM Teacher Fund STEM Scholarships Workforce Training Programs SMART Core Higher Education Remediation, Retention, and Graduation Programs Usury Laws (Amendments 60, 65) Research and Development Arkansas Research Alliance Arkansas Research Matching Fund Endowed Chairs Entrepreneurship Programs and Services Entrepreneurship Curriculum The Task Force was charged with studying Risk Capital “the programs and services needed for the Phase Zero SBIR state and its communities to be globally Product Development competitive within the role and scope of Risk Capital Matching Fund 21st economic development.” As the Task Equity Investor Tax Credits Force identified its priority strategies, Seed Capital Investment Fund the role, scope and strategies became Existing Business Innovation the framework within which a subset of the economic development programs R&D Tax Credits emerged as particularly relevant in the Applied Research Tax Credit near term to global competition and the University Research Tax Credits scope of 21st economic development. Infrastructure The Task Force recommends that the Connect Arkansas following 26 programs, initiatives, Broadband Applications and constitutional issues be given High Performance Computing priority consideration in the near-term Optical Networking as being key to competitiveness and Direct Economic Development contributing to economic development in the 21st Century Economy. Quick Action Closing Fund Advertising and Marketing The 26 programs are: Dedicated Funding Super Project Funding (Amendment 82) Usury Laws (Amendments 60, 65) F i n d i n g s a n d R e c o m m e n d a t i o n s o f t h e T a s k Fo r c e f o r t h e 2 1 s t C e n t u r y E c o n o m y
  11. 11. BUILDING A 21st CENTURY ECONOMY IN ARKANSAS 4 The process used to identify the 26 programs previously listed was much less ambitious than thoroughly reviewing all of the economic development programs to determine which programs contribute to economic development in the 21st Century Economy and which programs should be expanded, reduced or eliminated. This more detailed examination was not feasible within the restricted timeframe allotted to the Task Force. The Task Force recommends that another task force be created to thoroughly review all the economic development programs of the state of Arkansas to determine which programs contribute to economic development in the 21st Century Economy, and which programs should be expanded, reduced, or eliminated. State Equity Investments The Task Force was asked to answer the question of whether Arkansas should amend its constitutional prohibition on state equity investments in private sector firms. A discussion of this issue may be found on pp. 27-30. In response to this query, the Task Force recommendation is as follows: For the purpose of attracting and growing its own high technology and knowledge-based businesses to Arkansas it is advisable to remove the constitutional prohibition on state equity investments in private enterprise by economic development agencies. Further, the state should be authorized to receive, in exchange for its equity investments, stock or other securities that reflect a right to share in the growth and profits of such technology-based companies. It is also recommended that the funding shall be in the manner as provided by the General Assembly, which shall also provide for funding and implementation. Organizational Structure The Task Force was mandated to study the organizational structure necessary for an efficient and effective 21st Century state economic development system. In particular, the Task Force studied the three primary economic development agencies in Arkansas: the Arkansas Development Finance Authority (ADFA), the Arkansas Economic F i n d i n g s a n d R e c o m m e n d a t i o n s o f t h e T a s k Fo r c e f o r t h e 2 1 s t C e n t u r y E c o n o m y
  12. 12. BUILDING A 21st CENTURY ECONOMY IN ARKANSAS 5 Development Commission (AEDC), and the Arkansas Science and Technology Authority (ASTA). As a result of its investigation, the Task Force makes the following recommendations: Arkansas should create an economic development plan that has input from, and involves, all state economic development agencies. The Governor’s Work Force Cabinet should study the consolidation of workforce development activities where possible and provide closer linkages with state economic development agencies. A web portal should be designed as the primary starting point for all clients and interested parties wanting to research starting, locating, or expanding a business. All state services, programs, and incentives that support economic development, and other relevant private and nonprofit resources, should be linked from there. Resources should be dedicated to further study the structure and effectiveness of the state’s economic development organizations because economic development is ever changing and the continuing review will provide information about 21st Century demands on the organizations. ADFA, AEDC, and ASTA should colocate their operations. The Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce should review Oklahoma’s Business Round Table concept and consider creating a similar structure tailored to fit the needs of Arkansas. Arkansas should create a dedicated revenue stream for funding 21st Century businesses development. Funding for AEDC and ASTA should be appropriated to accomplish the Task Force recommendations. The budget for ADFA should be increased to accomplish the Task Force recommendations. These are the principle recommendations of the Task Force. F i n d i n g s a n d R e c o m m e n d a t i o n s o f t h e T a s k Fo r c e f o r t h e 2 1 s t C e n t u r y E c o n o m y
  13. 13. BUILDING A 21st CENTURY ECONOMY IN ARKANSAS 6 Other Issues for Consideration In addition to these topics, the Task Force considered and discussed a variety of issues that may impact economic development in the 21st Century. Although formal recommendations about these issues were not developed for them, they bear mention. They are: • The special opportunity that exists for the development of policies related to energy production and consumption, and “green” and sustainable industries. • The effect of Arkansas’s current usury law on economic development. • The special challenge that exists regarding Arkansas’s physical infrastructure, especially in creating a 21st Century infrastructure while maintaining and expanding our current infrastructure. • The balance of funding for marketing and advertising expenditures by state development agencies, given the types of jobs that will enhance our 21st Century Economy. The challenges that face Arkansas in the 21st Century are considerable, but not insurmountable. The Task Force believes that the way to get to a thriving 21st Century Economy is to adopt all the recommendations described herein. It is important to understand that we will not reach our goals by going halfway. All of the recommended roles, scopes, programs, services, and changes in structure and Constitutional prohibitions are essential elements of a 21st Century Economy. F i n d i n g s a n d R e c o m m e n d a t i o n s o f t h e T a s k Fo r c e f o r t h e 2 1 s t C e n t u r y E c o n o m y
  14. 14. BUILDING A 21st CENTURY ECONOMY IN ARKANSAS 7 Introduction The 86th General Assembly of the State of nee, the President of the Arkansas Development Arkansas in its Regular Session of Session of 2007 Finance Authority (ADFA) or his designee, and the through Act 1024 established The Task Force for President of the Arkansas Science and Technology the Twenty-First Century Economy (21st Century Authority (ASTA) or his designee serve on the Task Task Force). (Act 1024 may be found in Appendix B.) Force ex-officio. Governor Beebe appointed Dianne Lamberth of Batesville as Chair. The members are: Mission and Purpose Governor The Mission and Purpose given to the 21st Cen- Judy Adams, Foreman tury Task Force is to: Guy Fenter, Charleston Bill Ferren, Pine Bluff 1. Define the role and scope of economic Gene Hill, Camden development in Arkansas. Mike Maulden, Little Rock 2. Define the programs and services Speaker of the House needed for the state and its communities John Barnes, Little Rock to be globally competitive within Mickey Pierce, Stuttgart the role and scope of 21st Century Brad Lacey, Conway economic development. President Pro Tempore of the Senate 3. Determine the advisability of removal of Pat Lea, Batesville the constitutional prohibition on state Clay Curtner, Newport equity investments in private enterprise Sam Walls, Little Rock by economic development agencies; and, Accelerate Arkansas 4. Study the organizational structure Gary Campbell, Fort Smith necessary for an efficient and James Hendren, Little Rock effective 21st Century state Arkansas Science and Technology Authority economic development system. John Ahlen, President Arkansas Development Finance Authority Task Force Membership and Staff Mac Dodson, President The 21st Century Task Force consists of 17 Gene Eagle, Vice President, Finance members. Members have been appointed by Gov- Arkansas Economic Development Commission ernor Mike Beebe, Speaker of the House Benny C. Maria Haley, Executive Director Petrus, and President Pro Tempore of the Senate Randy Zook, Deputy Director, Administration Jack Critcher. Accelerate Arkansas nominated two and Finance of its members with the approval of the Governor. Morris Jenkins, Division Director, Strategic The Executive Director of the Arkansas Economic Planning and Legislative Affairs Development Commission (AEDC) or her desig- F i n d i n g s a n d R e c o m m e n d a t i o n s o f t h e Ta s k F o r c e f o r t h e 21s t C e n t u r y E c o n o m y
  15. 15. BUILDING A 21st CENTURY ECONOMY IN ARKANSAS 8 Staff are described in the Interim Report of the Task The staff for the 21st Century Task Force is Force, which may be found in Appendix A. Copies led by Chris Masingill, Director of Agency of presentations delivered to the Task Force and External Affairs for Governor Beebe. Lisa and minutes from all Task Force meetings are in Cogbill of the Arkansas Economic Development Appendix E. Commission provided administrative and The Task Force gained important insights logistics assistance to the Task Force. James during these meetings by listening to community Youngquist, Teresa McLendon, Randall Wright, and economic development leaders explain their Michael Gerfen, Tonya Hass, Jan Gibson, approaches to the 21st Century Economy. Many of Vaughan Wingfield, and Susan Jackson of these approaches are discussed in the part of this the Institute for Economic Advancement report that addresses Role and Scope of Economic at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock Development. provided facilitation, work program design, research, and other assistance as needed to At the conclusion of the community meetings, the Task Force and its work committees. the Task Force held a series of discussions during 23 meetings to analyze the information they As reported in its Interim Report issued had received and develop its recommendations, July 31, 2008, the Task Force began its work by expending more than 1,000 man hours of holding work sessions to learn about the missions, work. This report details the findings and organizations, and structures of the Arkansas recommendations of the Task Force, in response to Development Finance Authority, the Arkansas its four charges from the Legislature in Act 1024. Economic Development Commission, and the Arkansas Science and Technology Authority. It also The 21st Century Economy heard presentations from Accelerate Arkansas, the Departments of Education and Higher Education, In its research on the 21st Century Economy, and Innovate Arkansas. Accelerate Arkansas found a helpful comparison between the characteristics of the “Old” (20th Following the initial work sessions, the Task Century) and the “New” (21st Century) economies. Force traveled to eight communities in Arkansas It appears in Figure 1. to hear presentations about local and regional economic development issues and innovative The ability to develop a competitive 21st solutions for the 21st Century economy. Century Economy will only be possible where the Specifically, the Task Force met in Batesville, culture values character, a strong work ethic, and Jonesboro, Helena-West Helena, El Dorado, North educational attainment and where citizens influ- Little Rock, Texarkana, Fort Smith, and Rogers. ence community, regional, and state investments in During these meetings, Task Force members heard the public goods and services needed to sustain a 16 presentations and spoke with representatives competitive economic environment. The Task Force of 33 communities around the state. Presentations identified some of the shifting conditions of the delivered to the Task Force at these meetings 21st Century Economy as: F i n d i n g s a n d R e c o m m e n d a t i o n s o f t h e Ta s k F o r c e f o r t h e 21s t C e n t u r y E c o n o m y
  16. 16. BUILDING A 21st CENTURY ECONOMY IN ARKANSAS 9 1. Globalization of the economy; 5. A distinctive quality of place that is essential for attracting and 2. Support of knowledge-based growth; maintaining the talent needed for 3. Rapid changes in production knowledge-based growth; and processes, energy resources, and 6. Robust broadband connectivity that water supply propelled by risk, provides access to high-performance innovation, and technology; computing and communications. 2 4. Local and regional policies, Businesses that are to grow in today’s highly com- investments, and institutions that petitive environment demand a more highly skilled shape knowledge-based development and educated workforce than in the past, as well as around existing, new, and emerging a physical and human resource infrastructure that is clusters of economic activity; more advanced than the 20th Century infrastructure. Figure 1 Keys to the Old and New Economies ECONOMY-WIDE CHARACTERISTICS: OLD ECONOMY NEW ECONOMY Markets Stable Dynamic Scope of Competition National Global Organizational Form Hierarchical, Bureaucratic Networked, Entrepreneurial Potential Geographic Mobility of Business Low High Competition Between Regions Low High INDUSTRY: Organization of Production Mass Production Flexible Production Key Factor of Production Capital/Labor Innovation/Knowledge Key Technology Driver Mechanization Digitization Source of Competitive Advantage Lowering Cost Through Economies of Scale Innovation, Quality, Time to Market, & Cost Importance of Research/Innovation Moderate High Relations with Other Firms Go it Alone Alliances and Collaboration WORKFORCE: Principal Policy Goal Full Employment Higher Wages and Incomes Skills Job-specific Skills Broad Skills, Cross-Training Requisite Education A Skill Lifelong Learning Labor-Management Relations Adversarial Collaborative Nature of Employment Stable Marked by Risk and Opportunity GOVERNMENT: Business-Government Relations Impose Requirements Assist Firms’ Innovation and Growth Regulation Command and Control Market Tools, Flexibility Source: Atkinson, Robert D., Randolph H. Court, and Joseph M. Ward. THE STATE NEW ECONOMY INDEX: Benchmarking Economic Transfor- mation in the States. Progressive Policy Institute, July 1999, p. 5. 2 Task Force for the 21st Century. Interim Report, July 2008. F i n d i n g s a n d R e c o m m e n d a t i o n s o f t h e Ta s k F o r c e f o r t h e 21s t C e n t u r y E c o n o m y
  17. 17. BUILDING A 21st CENTURY ECONOMY IN ARKANSAS 10 Since agriculture and manufacturing provide a base for our current economy, they must receive support in raising their global competitiveness. Increasingly often, this is done in these industries by adopting higher levels of technology and hiring a more educated and skilled workforce. Along with these changes in manufacturing and agriculture, the lion’s share of the industries that are growing today are those which have a high level of tech- nology, and employ a higher proportion of highly skilled and educated workers than other indus- tries—knowledge-based industries. Knowledge-based growth and development reflect a highly skilled/educated workforce capable of responding to economic and technological change in the medium and long term. The market recognizes and rewards this with improved earning potential. As the Task Force stated in its Interim Report, “for Arkansas’s economy—and its people—to flourish in the 21st Century, the role and scope of economic development must be adapted to the current circumstances, and the programs and services provided must enhance the global com- petitiveness of the state and the communities that lie within.” The Task Force gained important insights by traveling to communities around the state and listening to community and economic develop- ment leaders explain their approaches to the 21st Century Economy. Many of these approaches are discussed in the part of this report that addresses Role and Scope of Economic Development. F i n d i n g s a n d R e c o m m e n d a t i o n s o f t h e Ta s k F o r c e f o r t h e 21s t C e n t u r y E c o n o m y
  18. 18. BUILDING A 21st CENTURY ECONOMY IN ARKANSAS 11 Role and Scope of Economic Development Although economic development occurs as a recommended scopes of action by the state. After result of investments made by the private sector, much discussion, the Task Force identified strate- there are many areas of state government policy gies that can be used to specify, influence, and that can influence the rate and magnitude of better implement economic development policies economic development. Many of these deal with within their respective role and scope. policy impacts on conditions present in the state and improve the attractiveness of the area to inves- The roles and scopes identified by the Task tors. Others are policies that may more directly Force that can be employed as most crucial to our impact an individual investment decision, such as success are described in the following pages, along a tax incentive to act a certain way, or a program with the Task Force’s recommended strategies. that assists existing businesses in improving their competitiveness in their markets. Education Some of the policies may impact economic de- Education was a topic of discussion at virtually velopment in a relatively short period of time. The every meeting of the Task Force and in each com- effects of others may not be felt for years, or even munity that the Task Force visited. The expert pre- decades. Nevertheless they all play some role in sentations, community discussions, and the experi- changing the landscape of Arkansas, thus changing ence brought to the Task Force by its members all the state’s potential for economic development. underscore that in the 21st Century, more than ever before, success will be determined by the presence The Task Force was charged with studying “The of a skilled, knowledgeable, highly educated, and role and scope of economic development in Ar- highly trained talent base. kansas in the twenty-first century.” The Task Force defined the areas of state policy that play a part in The increasing level of technology requires the economic development of Arkansas, and within firms to employ large numbers of scientists, mathe- each policy, the specific subsets of the policies that maticians, engineers, computer programmers, and most directly affect economic development in the technologists. Research and development activities 21st Century. During its deliberations, Task Force are carried on by highly educated scientists. Entre- members identified nine policy areas that play preneurship requires creativity, a thorough un- roles in economic development. derstanding of the marketplace as well as specific The scopes of state policies can have an im- product-related knowledge. New technologies are pact on economic development in the future and entering the market so quickly that most people are many and varied; the roles and scopes recom- beginning their careers in the 21st Century will mended by the Task Force are listed in Appendix work in many different jobs, for many different em- A of this document. The Task Force understands, ployers, and in several different occupations over however, that state policies require resources to their lifetime. This requires the ability to grasp new implement—resources that are scarce in Arkansas. concepts quickly and engage in a lifelong process For that reason, the Task Force has prioritized the of learning. F i n d i n g s a n d R e c o m m e n d a t i o n s o f t h e Ta s k F o r c e f o r t h e 21s t C e n t u r y E c o n o m y
  19. 19. BUILDING A 21st CENTURY ECONOMY IN ARKANSAS 12 Specifically, the Task Force for the 21st Century The recommended strategy is to provide and Economy examined the roles of K-12 education, post- fund a program of economic development incen- secondary education, and workforce education. tive grants for the best STEM teachers in order to encourage them to enter the class room and to stay K-12 Education in the classroom, including better pay for STEM High quality K-12 education is essential for our teachers. This can be achieved by investing $1 mil- children if they are to survive and thrive in a 21st lion in a fund for a program managed by AEDC that Century world, with its global, knowledge-based would reward nationally certified STEM teachers economy. While recognizing that the primary re- with an additional payment of $5,000 per year. sponsibility for educating our youth lies with their Additionally, the Task Force is concerned parents, the state’s K-12 education policies play a that every student receive the rigorous educa- distinct role in economic development. K-12 educa- tion they will need to succeed in the 21st Cen- tion provides the basis for our future workforce, tury, which will not happen when students are and can provide students with the skills and char- allowed to “opt out” of STEM coursework acter they will need to continue learning through- out their lives. At this level of education children With this in mind, the Task Force can learn values that will help them to excel in the recommendation is to: workplace: discipline, determination, curiosity, co- Phase out the number of students that operation, competitiveness, prudence, judgment, opt out of the Smart Core curriculum and problem solving. over the next six years by strongly In a special way, the subjects of science, tech- encouraging school districts to adopt nology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) play curriculum models that will eventually a major role in the 21st Century Economy. The com- make opting out unnecessary. petitiveness of the American workforce in the 21st Post-secondary Education Century will be in a great way dependent upon the number of workers with high STEM skill levels, Arkansas’s policies regarding post-secondary ed- and the comfort level of all workers in dealing with ucation play an important role in economic develop- STEM-related tasks. This knowledge comes from ment by making the high quality education needed being taught by teachers who are themselves com- for 21st Century jobs available at affordable costs to fortable with, and skilled in, STEM subjects. state residents. It is in the colleges and universities that students finish their preparation for careers in The highest priority recommendation of the science, technology, mathematics, and engineering: Task Force is: the most needed skills in the 21st Century workforce. In another link to economic development, the educa- Enhance science, technology, tion of K-12 teachers through the post-secondary engineering, and mathematics (STEM) system provides the state with resources needed to educator talent by providing salary educate children for the jobs of the future. As previ- enhancements for Nationally Board ously stated, the Task Force endorses the recom- Certified math and science teachers as mendations of the Task Force on Higher Education an economic development investment. Remediation, Retention, and Graduation. F i n d i n g s a n d R e c o m m e n d a t i o n s o f t h e Ta s k F o r c e f o r t h e 21s t C e n t u r y E c o n o m y
  20. 20. BUILDING A 21st CENTURY ECONOMY IN ARKANSAS 13 The highest priority recommendation of the (Note that this recommendation is similar to Task Force is: the one found on page 31 referring to a study of consolidation of workforce training programs by Enhance incentives to encourage the Governor’s Workforce Cabinet.) students to go into STEM four-year degree programs, including secondary The recommended strategy is to review and co- math and science education. ordinate the existing workforce training programs to support AEDC’s targeted industries, as follows. The recommended strategy to enhance STEM education incentives is to encourage students to • Study successful workforce training models go into STEM four-year degree programs by creat- presently in place at the University of ing a STEM scholarship program that offers assis- Arkansas at Fort Smith and Mid-South tance that is hard to get but easy to keep. This type Community College in West Memphis of scholarship program will encourage students to determine if these programs can be to attempt difficult college programs and stay in replicated across the state; provide existing them until graduation. The program would cost $5 workforce centers with adequate support million to fund, can be managed by the Arkansas to sustain and expand their mission. Department of Higher Education, and would pro- • Strengthen current P-16 efforts vide up to $5,000 per year per student. by providing proven models for Workforce Education instructional alignment in each grade level in the areas of mathematics, In the 21st Century Economy, workers with tech- literacy, science, and history in support nical training are needed to staff a large proportion of the core curriculum requirements. of 21st Century jobs. A high school diploma today is simply not enough education to provide employers • Establish a system for workforce with the level of skill needed to perform many of training that allows students to enter the jobs available. The state’s workforce education the system while in high school policies provide a role in economic development by and proceed, seamlessly, toward a providing much of the skilled technical workforce proficiency in workforce training needed to staff 21st Century companies. or a baccalaureate degree. The highest priority recommendation of the • Students will receive concurrent college Task Force is: credit while participating in this career pathway and may take advantage Review and coordinate the existing of multiple entry and exit points as workforce training programs to support they work toward being adequately the Arkansas Economic Development prepared with rigor for the workforce Commission’s (AEDC’s) targeted industries or the baccalaureate degree. with an emphasis on best practices and support of the state’s strategic economic • The system will require a phased- development initiatives. in requirement that all state funded F i n d i n g s a n d R e c o m m e n d a t i o n s o f t h e Ta s k F o r c e f o r t h e 21s t C e n t u r y E c o n o m y
  21. 21. BUILDING A 21st CENTURY ECONOMY IN ARKANSAS 14 vocational-technical programs affiliate Other Education Recommendations with a two-year or four-year institution of The education and training policies of Arkansas higher education to provide for regional are so critical to the 21st Century Economy that workforce training centers available they must be examined in depth because every to students from all high schools in the region, and special funding will be facet of education and training policy will influence provided to these programs to train our future success or failure. Moreover, the ability workers for high-demand occupations. of our youth to obtain advanced training past high school, particularly college degrees, is conditioned • Course offerings will be supportive of upon their preparation, motivation, and financial the strategic initiatives established by resources available to them. the Arkansas Economic Development Arkansas communities recognize the impor- Commission, which identifies the needs of tance of education to their local and regional the state in each region. Priority funding economies, and many have taken steps to empha- will be assigned to these courses. size and encourage education by: • All high school juniors and seniors • Providing scholarships to high will have the opportunity to earn school graduates who demonstrate early college credit by providing good work skills in high school; adequate funding for secondary technical centers that are affiliated • Strengthening the linkages between with a program of higher education. local high schools and regional training centers and college campuses; • Performance-based funding will be established for regional secondary centers • Establishing best practices for in the areas of concurrent credit, national math and science education; credentials, and degree attainment. • Connecting higher education resources • College participation will be increased to the local economy; and by providing incentives for students • Emphasizing university research who are not likely to participate. This and student entrepreneurship. will be accomplished by providing needs-based grants for low income and In addition to communities, the Task Force minority students: by providing some considered the work of the Task Force on Higher financial assistance for adult students Education Remediation, Retention, and Graduation. and through innovative course delivery. The Task Force endorses the • We should create a statewide common recommendations described in their course numbering system and a common recent report, Access to Success: transfer system for use by all institutions, Increasing Arkansas’s College Graduates based on a common curriculum. Promotes Economic Development. F i n d i n g s a n d R e c o m m e n d a t i o n s o f t h e Ta s k F o r c e f o r t h e 21s t C e n t u r y E c o n o m y
  22. 22. BUILDING A 21st CENTURY ECONOMY IN ARKANSAS 15 To provide sufficient loans to The highest priority recommendation of the students entering college-level Task Force is: training programs, the Task Force Expand the job-creating research recommends passage of a constitutional and development capabilities of our amendment to Amendments 60 and universities through sustained state 65 of the Arkansas Constitution investment in research infrastructure that would eliminate the interest and science and engineering talent. rate caps for the Arkansas Student Loan Authority (ASLA). The recommended strategy to expand the re- search and development capabilities of our univer- More about this can be found in the sities is to: section titled Afterword: Additional Issues for • Create a fund to implement Consideration. recommendations that will be coming from Research and Development the Arkansas Research Alliance, and provide sufficient funding for implementation. Research and development are the source of advances in knowledge and technology and • Sufficiently fund programs to make one of the drivers of change in the 21st Century matches required for federal and other marketplace. Institutions performing these non-state government grants. activities employ highly educated and skilled • Focus university research on scientists and engineers, who themselves can applied, job-creating research. become a magnet for the location of business operations involved with innovation and new • Recruit research “superstars,” product development. Research universities also groom research faculty, and prepare the types of employees desired by high- support new research faculty. tech and knowledge-based firms. Advances made • Build relationships between research in the research and development process can universities and undergraduate become the basis for new product and service institutions, to make facilities and development, and creation of new businesses, equipment available to faculty. and assist our firms in competing in the global economy. For these reasons, a substantive level Entrepreneurship of research and development activities in a Entrepreneurship—the formation of new state can provide a platform for a healthy 21st businesses by individuals and groups to take new Century Economy. By encouraging research and products and services to the market—provides development, Arkansas’s policies play a significant extraordinary opportunities for Arkansas in the role in economic development. These policies also 21st Century. The Task Force heard that the state’s provide a signal about our intentions and interest entrepreneurial spirit and success illustrate that in advancing technology to firms looking for communities that embrace entrepreneurship can location alternatives. grow their own knowledge-based companies, F i n d i n g s a n d R e c o m m e n d a t i o n s o f t h e Ta s k F o r c e f o r t h e 21s t C e n t u r y E c o n o m y
  23. 23. BUILDING A 21st CENTURY ECONOMY IN ARKANSAS 16 jobs, wealth, and economic well being. According ficult and costly it is for business owners to acquire to the U.S. Small Business Administration, in 2006 sufficient capital. The most difficult risk capital there were more than 25 million small businesses to acquire from the private sector is capital for in the U.S.; these firms accounted for over half of early stage business start-up activities, the actions the country’s private employment and generated that must be performed to take a new product or 60 to 80 percent of the net new jobs every year for service from the original invention to its first sales the past decade. 3 Entrepreneurs tend to have roots in the market. The state plays a role in economic in the states where their businesses are created, development by providing access to the highest- and are less likely than recruited firms to leave for risk capital that would otherwise be unavailable “greener pastures” elsewhere. Large firms may also through the private sector. Risk capital is even have greater difficulty reacting to the rapid chang- more crucial for technology-based businesses, es in technology and markets that characterize the which may have large capital demands early in the 21st Century Economy. development process of bringing a new product or service from the initial invention to initial sales in At the heart of every small business is an the marketplace. entrepreneur—a person who saw an opportunity in the market, who was courageous and adventure- The highest priority recommendation of the some enough to strike out on his own rather than Task Force is: cling to the security of employment in an existing business, who took the risk necessary and invested Increase the availability of risk capital dollars and sweat and skills to build something for state supported investment in of his own. Entrepreneurship policies of Arkansas early stage technology start-ups. affect the rate of new business formation through The recommended strategy to increase the their impacts on Arkansans’ attitudes about busi- availability of risk capital is to: ness creation, and their knowledge about how our economy, our businesses, and their own personal • Support Phase Zero Small Business financial dealings work. Innovation Research (SBIR) (to attract Federal SBIR), by providing proposal The highest priority recommendation of the writing assistance and increased funding Task Force is: in support of SBIR grant requests for Develop an economics and start-up technology companies. entrepreneurship curriculum • Increase funding for Product appropriate for grades K-16, including Development and SBIR Bridging. classes in personal finance. • Match Risk Capital Investment Funds. Risk Capital • Offer Investor Investment Tax Credits. Every business depends upon the existence of risk capital in order to grow. The more risk involved The recommended strategy to increase state in starting or growing the business, the more dif- supported investment in early stage technology 3 http://www.score.org/small_biz_stats.html start-ups is to: F i n d i n g s a n d R e c o m m e n d a t i o n s o f t h e Ta s k F o r c e f o r t h e 21s t C e n t u r y E c o n o m y
  24. 24. BUILDING A 21st CENTURY ECONOMY IN ARKANSAS 17 • Fund the existing Risk Capital Matching Fund. The recommended strategy to expand the research and development (R&D) incentives for • Expand funding of the Seed Capital industry is to: Investment Fund. • Decrease the equity investment • Encourage Arkansas state retirement funds to invest in nonpublically traded requirement necessary for the R&D tax Arkansas technology companies. credit from $400,000 to $200,000. • Eliminate the cap on the state incentive • Make the Applied Tax Credit transferable. tax credits for investment in start-up • Make the University Tax technology companies and angel funds. Credits transferable Existing Business Innovation • Expand the Research & Development Businesses operating in Arkansas provide the tax credit to include the transportation foundation for our future economy, providing jobs and installation costs of equipment. for Arkansans and increasing the wealth in the state. Policies that support innovation in existing Infrastructure businesses impact our economic development by Businesses do not exist in a vacuum; they can providing them with opportunities to increase their only operate in an environment that provides competitiveness and profitability, increasing the them with the physical infrastructure needed probability that they will thrive and grow in the to get their products and services to market: long run. By their nature as drivers of business de- transportation, water, wastewater and other velopment, the full scope of policies that encour- age innovation among existing business will affect waste disposal, electricity and natural gas, economic development in the 21st Century. telecommunications, and other physical assets external to the firm. The state’s infrastructure The highest priority recommendation of the policies can determine the viability of the state Task Force is: as a location for business, thus affecting our Expand research and development future economic development. In addition to the (R&D) incentives for industry; financially traditional infrastructure, 21st Century businesses support business retention and expansion are highly dependent upon the existence activities through AEDC’s existing and reliability of high speed, high bandwidth Business Retention and Expansion telecommunications—“cyberinfrastructure.” The program, the Arkansas Science and Task Force heard in communities across the state Technology Authority’s (ASTA’s) that broadband connectivity is an advantage in Arkansas Manufacturing Solutions, and a global economic competitiveness and that the lack variety of Arkansas Development Finance of affordable broadband is a barrier to economic Authority (ADFA) programs; and increase growth. Any area of the state missing an element incentives for existing businesses to modernize their processes through R&D of the infrastructure will be unable to develop and modernization of their equipment. economically in the 21st Century. F i n d i n g s a n d R e c o m m e n d a t i o n s o f t h e Ta s k F o r c e f o r t h e 21s t C e n t u r y E c o n o m y
  25. 25. BUILDING A 21st CENTURY ECONOMY IN ARKANSAS 18 The highest priority recommendation of the The highest priority recommendation of the Task Force is: Task Force is: Create a 21st Century Make Arkansas globally cyberinfrastructure. competitive in business and industry recruitment. The recommended strategies to create a 21st Century telecommunications cyberinfrastructure The recommended strategies to make Arkan- are to: sas globally competitive in business and industry recruitment are to: • Develop rural broadband connectivity to all feasible locations in Arkansas. • Expand funding of the state Quick Action Closing Fund. • Develop broadband applications. • Increase agency funding for advertising • Support high performance computing. and marketing to be competitive with • Develop optical networks. neighboring states. (See Afterword: Additional Issues for Consideration for Direct Economic Development a relative implementation method.) Policies • Provide funding for economic development from dedicated revenues, rather than A variety of state policies are directed at spe- the general improvement fund. cific economic development activities, including marketing and promotion of the state as a location • Expand Amendment 82 to lower the for businesses, financial incentives for businesses threshold of firm size that would locating in Arkansas, providing technical assis- qualify for funding assistance but tance to businesses, and providing assistance to maintain the same rate of impact on regions of Arkansas in creating the kind of environ- the economy as would larger firms. ment in which businesses thrive and the quality • Pass a constitutional amendment to of place where talented people want to live. The Amendments 60, 62, and 65 of the Arkansas 21st Century is characterized by a global economy Constitution that would eliminate the in which businesses may extend their operations interest rate caps for the state economic over many states, countries, and even continents, development agencies and for the cities and can choose from thousands of communities and counties in Arkansas. (See Afterword: in which to locate. Arkansas’s economic success Additional Issues for Consideration.) will depend on strategic assessments of the state’s business mix and, if Arkansas’s entrepreneurs and In addition to the state strategies listed, the existing businesses leave important gaps, then Task Force heard about targeted local and regional Arkansas must be a suitable and competitive initiatives that (in addition to those listed previ- environment for the operations of new companies ously in the discussion about role and scope) ap- attracted to the state. pear to be making a difference in the 21st Century F i n d i n g s a n d R e c o m m e n d a t i o n s o f t h e Ta s k F o r c e f o r t h e 21s t C e n t u r y E c o n o m y
  26. 26. BUILDING A 21st CENTURY ECONOMY IN ARKANSAS 19 Economy. These complementary local strategies that make Arkansas communities more globally competitive include: • local sales tax options used for economic development activities; • efforts to improve or enhance quality of place; • longer-term strategic initiatives to systematically move communities forward; • efforts to strengthen local business and industry as a way to keep them globally competitive and retain and grow them in the community; and • encouraging participation in the global economy. F i n d i n g s a n d R e c o m m e n d a t i o n s o f t h e Ta s k F o r c e f o r t h e 21s t C e n t u r y E c o n o m y
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  28. 28. BUILDING A 21st CENTURY ECONOMY IN ARKANSAS 21 Programs & Services for the 21st Century Economy State government’s economic development These are reported in the previous section of this policies and investments are implemented through report. In the context of the discussion about role the programs and services of agencies and instru- and scope, the Task Force identified strategies, mentalities of the state. tactics, programs, and services. The Task Force was charged with studying “The As the Task Force identified its priority strate- programs and services needed for the state and its gies, the role, scope and strategies became the communities to be globally competitive within the framework within which a subset of the economic role and scope of 21st Century economic develop- development programs and relevant state consti- ment.” tutional issues emerged as particularly relevant to global competition and the scope of 21st Century The Task Force heard presentations from each economic development. The Task Force believes of the economic development entities represented this methodology is tactically sound and reveals a by ex officio members of the Task Force. The lead- solid core of programs that are key to competitive- ership from the Arkansas Economic Development ness and contribute to economic development in Commission, Development Finance Authority, and the 21st Century Economy. In the following subsec- Science and Technology Authority made detailed tions of the report, which parallel those used previ- presentations to the Task Force about their respec- ously to describe role and scope, the Task Force tive operations, including many relevant programs restates its priorities and identifies the subset of and services. The Task Force also discussed the role programs and services offering the highest poten- and scope of education at all levels in 21st century tial “for the state and its communities to be glob- economic development. ally competitive within the role and scope of 21st The Task Force explored the possibility of thor- Century economic development.” In the following, oughly reviewing all the economic development “Description” summarizes a program or service; programs to determine which contributed to the “Entity” identifies the lead agency or instrumen- 21st Century Economy, which – if any – had be- tality of the state; and “Citation” references the come outdated, which might be considered for ex- relevant Arkansas Code section. pansion, and where there may be opportunities for The Task Force recommends new policies, programs, and services. This objective that the following 26 programs, seemed to the Task Force to be considerable, and initiatives, and constitutional issues the time available to carry it out limited. be given priority consideration The Task Force initially invested its time in its in the near-term as being key to careful definition of the role and scope of econom- competitiveness and contributing ic development in Arkansas in the 21st Century; it to economic development in defined nine areas of state policy that most directly the 21st Century Economy. affect economic development in the 21st Century. F i n d i n g s a n d R e c o m m e n d a t i o n s o f t h e Ta s k F o r c e f o r t h e 21s t C e n t u r y E c o n o m y
  29. 29. BUILDING A 21st CENTURY ECONOMY IN ARKANSAS 22 Education K-12 Education The highest priority scope of K-12 education policies recommended for Arkansas is to enhance STEM educator talent by providing salary enhancements for Nationally Board Certified math and science teachers as an economic development investment. DESCRIPTION ENTITY CITATION/ACTION An Act to promote economic development by creating a Arkansas Economic Act 564 of 2007 science, technology, engineering, and math fund to increase Development Commission the state’s ability to compete for jobs in the 21st Century. An additional high priority scope of K-12 education policies recommended for Arkansas is to phase out the number of students that opt out of the Smart Core curriculum over the next six years by strongly encouraging school districts to adopt curriculum models that will eventually make opting out unnecessary. DESCRIPTION ENTITY CITATION/ACTION The SMART Core Curriculum Arkansas Department Modify Existing Program of Education Post-secondary Education The highest priority scope of post-secondary education policies recommended for Arkansas is to enhance incentives to encourage students to go into STEM four-year degree programs, including secondary math and science education. DESCRIPTION ENTITY CITATION/ACTION Create a STEM scholarship program that offers assistance Arkansas Department New Policy that is hard to get but easy to keep. This scholarship will not of Higher Education penalize students who enroll in difficult degree programs, encouraging them to stay in them until graduation. Workforce Education The highest priority scope of workforce education policies recommended for Arkansas is to review and coordinate the existing workforce training programs to support AEDC’s targeted industries with an emphasis on best practices and support of the state’s strategic economic development initiatives. DESCRIPTION ENTITY CITATION/ACTION Create an initiative to review and coordinate Arkansas Economic New Policy existing workforce training programs to Development Commission support AEDC’s targeted industries. F i n d i n g s a n d R e c o m m e n d a t i o n s o f t h e Ta s k F o r c e f o r t h e 21s t C e n t u r y E c o n o m y

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