The Director’s Chair: April 2022

The Director's Chair

YOU DON’T HAVE to be a poet to celebrate April as a time of renewal. All you

have to do is look around you, at the greening trees, the bursting azaleas, the

overflowing outdoor terraces.

At ACDS, this April brings a special sense of new and better things in the offing

for us and for our partners: Arkansas employers and homegrown tech talent.

ACDS is now just a little over three years old, and our “proof of concept” period is

over. We’ve proven that we can help our state’s employers find the needed IT

skills right here at home, and we’ve shown hundreds of young Arkansans the many

pathways to meaningful, well-paying IT careers right here in the Natural State.

Now it’s time for us to “scale,” to step up our impact and increase our measurable

results statewide. To that end, we’re using technology to cement efficiency and

effectiveness, and we’re also adding talent to our own team—more recruiters, more

project managers, and, I’m proud to say, our very first fulltime Director of

Marketing. He is Clint Hankinson, who has relocated to Northwest Arkansas from

South Carolina, where he worked with our own Lonnie Emard in the years before

Lonnie brought his considerable talents to ACDS as our Apprenticeship Director.

Clint is already making an impact, and you can see one new aspect of his work in

this month’s newsletter. Adding to our newsletter’s widely recognized depth of

tech coverage via interviews, guest columns, and other articles, “The ACDS

Adviser” will be a frequent “how-to” feature aimed at maximizing the potential of

both our employer partners and our tech talent pool.

In closing, we want to acknowledge the contributions of Marie Stacks over the last

three years.   Marie’s company, Boost Midwest, is growing and now requires her

fulltime attention.   She will be missed, and we thank her and her Boost team for

helping get ACDS to where it is today.

Happy April, everyone.

–Bill Yoder,

Executive Director