The Director’s Chair: Be Pro, Be Proud – February 2024

A headshot of an old white man with white hair on the sides of his head wearing glasses, a black suit jacket, and a blue and white checkered shirt on the Director's Chair announcement.



WHERE DID JANUARY and February go? The jonquils are popping up, meaning Spring is right around the corner here in Arkansas. And of the many, many things that we associate with Spring in our state, the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce’s High School Draft Days program—with the tagline “Be Pro, Be Proud”—is one of the most beneficial and innovative.

This is the third year of the Draft Day events, and the number of statewide participants has more than doubled each succeeding year. The program’s format is a series of two-day Career-Expo-like events around the state bringing hundreds of high school students and many employers together for a chance to connect and learn about one another. Day One is the traditional meet-and-greet, and Day Two furthers those connections with interview sessions strategically matching high school seniors with employers.

ACDS will certainly continue our involvement in this worthy program, and you’ll no doubt be reading more about it in future Spring newsletters. In the meantime, we wanted to give everyone a heads-up about the “Be Pro, Be Proud” dates and locations:

Arkansas River Valley – Peak Innovation Center, Fort Smith – March 5-6 

Arkansas Delta – Pine Bluff Convention Center, Pine Bluff – March 12-13

Northeast Arkansas – Jonesboro, Arkansas – March 27-28

Arkansas Grand Prairie – Grand Prairie Center, Stuttgart – April 3-4

Northwest Arkansas – Springdale Convention Center, Springdale – April 10-11

Golden Triangle – El Dorado Conference Center, El Dorado – April 17-18

Russellville – Cyclone Arena, Russellville – April 25-26

Central Arkansas – Pulaski Technical College, North Little Rock – April 30-May 1

ACDS will attend each of the events in support of both students—concerning their next steps—and employers, should they decide to use internships or apprenticeships to hire some of these fine young Arkansans.

–Bill Yoder
Executive Director