Growing Arkansas’ Advanced Energy Workforce at the emPOWER Arkansas Expo in March 2024

EmPOWER Arkansas Expo announcement

LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas – The Arkansas Advanced Energy Foundation, the Arkansas Apprenticeship Alliance, the Arkansas Office of Skills Development, and Greentech Renewables are proud to announce the first annual emPOWER Arkansas Expo, held on March 13th, 2024, 10am-3pm at the Saline County Career and Technical Campus in Benton, Arkansas. 

At this Arkansas advanced energy industry and career event, professionals, job seekers, and students will experience interactive industry booths, career and educational presentations, live career coaching, and job interviews. More than a career fair, this event aims to provide students with early exposure to the opportunities in this burgeoning field, well before they embark on their job search. Concurrently, it serves as a platform for industry leaders to remain abreast of the latest cutting-edge technologies for their continued economic growth.

“I am thrilled to witness the transformative impact this advanced energy industry and career event will have on the workforce landscape in Arkansas”, says April Ambrose, Director of Workforce Development for the Arkansas Advanced Energy Foundation. “By providing students and adults with firsthand exposure to this dynamic sector through immersive experiences, live hiring opportunities, and invaluable career coaching, we are not only building a strong and skilled workforce but also propelling our state to be a leader in this space.”

The emerging advanced energy industry includes technology and economic activity around energy efficiency, demand response, solar, wind, hydro, nuclear, electric vehicles, alternative fuels, and smart grid. Careers in this space include any that require specialized knowledge of the industry including contractors, consultants, marketing, finance, and more.

“The emPOWER Arkansas Expo represents a pivotal moment for our state, showcasing the significant potential of the advanced energy sector to drive economic growth and job creation,” says Lauren Waldrip, Executive Director for the Arkansas Advanced Energy Foundation. “Through this event, we’re not just highlighting the innovative technologies and long-term solutions that define our industry; we’re also spotlighting the advanced energy sector as a key engine for Arkansas’s economy, offering diverse and rewarding paths for our workforce. By investing in this sector, we’re investing in the future prosperity of Arkansas, ensuring that our state remains at the forefront of the energy transition and continues to attract, develop, and retain top talent.”

The emPOWER Arkansas Expo is designed to benefit multiple audiences:

  • Students and job seekers of all ages and skill levels will get hands-on experiences with emerging advanced energy technologies to gain the spark needed to pursue these industry career paths. They can also participate in real employment and apprenticeship interviews and/or talent recruitment/career counseling sessions.
  • Advanced energy industry companies will learn about new technologies, workforce solutions, interview prospective hires, and showcase their employment and workforce needs.
  • Educators and workforce partners will learn more about the industry and access speaker and tour bureaus while providing talent recruiting and job seeker support services, credential and training opportunities.

The event is being produced by the Arkansas Advanced Energy Foundation in partnership with the Arkansas Apprenticeship Alliance, Arkansas Office of Skills Development, and Greentech Renewables.

“I’m thrilled to collaborate with the Arkansas Advanced Energy Foundation on organizing this event,” states Ryan McMenamy, Inside Sales Manager for Greentech Renewables. “It’s set to catalyze growth in the solar industry by bringing together all key stakeholders. Installers will gain insights into cutting-edge technologies directly from manufacturers, while newcomers to the industry can network with seasoned professionals. This platform will spotlight Arkansas’s potential for enhanced energy independence, workforce expansion, and the substantial economic advantages it offers to the state.”

A sampling of confirmed sponsors include: Seal Solar, Powers of Arkansas, Forge Institute, and a sampling of booths include: Sol-Ark, SMA America, TRIO Educational Opportunity Center for Central Arkansas / UA Little Rock, and Goodwill Industries of Arkansas. 

Speaking, booth, and sponsorship opportunities are available. Attendance with lunch is free for students and only $10 for others. To learn more, contact April Ambrose at 501.733.9996 or, or visit the event and registration page here.


Arkansas Apprenticeship Alliance

The Arkansas Apprenticeship Alliance enables organizations in emerging industries, including energy, manufacturing, broadband, transportation, and others to leverage the registered apprenticeship model to find, train, and retain diverse, skilled talent. The Alliance is powered by the Arkansas Center for Data Sciences and the Arkansas Office of Skills Development.

Arkansas Advanced Energy Foundation

The Arkansas Advanced Energy Foundation promotes greater public understanding of advanced energy in Arkansas through research, public education programs and economic and workforce development. The Foundation is dedicated to informing the energy policy debate with well-researched, fact-based data on the advanced energy economy in Arkansas and by providing a public forum where state industry and government leaders can address Arkansas’s energy challenges for the future. The Foundation seeks partnerships to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship in the advanced energy sector. The Arkansas Advanced Energy Foundation is the educational affiliate of the Arkansas Advanced Energy Association.