ACDS Expands Programs to Solve Tech Gap in Northwest Arkansas

A line of code on a computer screen.

LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas – The Arkansas Center for Data Sciences (ACDS) is expanding its proven model utilizing Pre-Apprenticeship Training, Work-Based Learning Internships, and Registered Apprenticeship Programs (RAP) to address IT-related workforce gaps throughout Northwest Arkansas.

“The ACDS team will broaden our efforts in Northwest Arkansas to develop new IT talent to meet the needs of local employers,” said ACDS Executive Director Bill Yoder. “Over 4,000 candidates in Northwest Arkansas that we’ve already connected with, plus thousands more over the next two years, will be impacted – with an emphasis on those in historically disadvantaged communities.”

ACDS has achieved nationally-recognized outcomes during its three-year history addressing the significant gap between the needs of Arkansas employers and the current IT workforce. As the demand for technology solutions continues to grow, employers are expanding their IT resources.

In Northwest Arkansas, the existing workforce has been unable to meet this demand due to significant growth in the region and too few IT-trained Arkansans. ACDS’s expansion is supported by the Walton Family Foundation.

ACDS serves as the statewide intermediary with a mission of connecting these employers and Arkansans who are interested in, and have the potential of entering the IT workforce. ACDS has been successful in achieving this mission by utilizing Registered Apprenticeship Programs, Work-Based Learning Internships, and Pre-Apprenticeship training.

This proven and successful model, in collaboration with ACDS’ numerous partners and diverse candidate pool in Northwest Arkansas, is equipping individuals with the skills they need to become employable in an IT occupation.

ACDS welcomes employers and job seekers to visit to learn more about how each can participate in growing the information technology and computer science workforce for the state of Arkansas.