The Director’s Chair: January 2023

The Director's Chair

FIRST, WE AT ACDS wish all of you a Happy, Healthy, Safe, and Prosperous 2023!

We begin this New Year with objectives that include an increase in our three main targeted outcomes: Registered Apprenticeships, Pre-Apprentice Training, and Work-Based Learning Internships. Those are the services that provide tech talent for our Arkansas employers, and, in many cases, life-changing careers for Arkansans.

ACDS has always tracked and reported our results in terms of diversity, but here at the start of 2023 we’re launching a very intentional project in which every one of our team members will be contributing to the improvement of our DEIA outreach and outcomes. Arkansas has a very diverse population of more than three million people, but the IT workforce hasn’t reflected that diversity. With just over three full years of data under our belt, we know exactly where we stand in terms of diversity, and we want that to be a baseline for continued improvement.

Also on our list of objectives for 2023 is improving our collaboration with agencies that are providing services to eligible Arkansans who also meet the requirements for an IT career. We plan to start with the 10 Local Workforce Boards that provide services for specific counties throughout the state. This could be a win-win, since ACDS likely has candidates that would require the services provided by the LWFB’s.

We’ll be reporting on our progress here in this column and through other means as the year progresses, so stay tuned!

–Bill Yoder,

Executive Director