The Director’s Chair: May 2023

The Director's Chair

YOU CAN’T HELP but be excited during the month of May, especially if you’re around school-age children (or their teachers)—the school year is about to end! Woohoo! For me, May starts with the Kentucky Derby, then moves on to Mother’s Day, the PGA Tournament, and the Indianapolis 500…but it ends with the somber celebration marked by the Memorial Day weekend. For those of us whose fathers came back from Europe after V-E Day—May 8, 1945—this observation was always an expression of true thankfulness, acknowledging those who paid the ultimate price defending the country we live in. Our heroes today are of more recent conflicts, but we should remember their courage and commitment just as much.

Speaking of our country, our Constitution allows for differences of opinion, and thank goodness we don’t all come at things from the same point of view. It’s okay to agree to disagree, a process that promotes discussion, which fuels innovation. And once we get behind an idea, there’s no stopping us. I’ve heard that said specifically about Arkansans, and having been back home for the last five years, I agree: Arkansans get stuff done!

Which leads me to an ACDS update for 2023. You’ve read our articles about the many employers using innovative, non-traditional pathways to supplement their staffing strategy, as well as about the hundreds of IT apprenticeships that Arkansas businesses have embraced. Now we want to tell you about the economic impact that those employers, apprentices, and, yes, ACDS and our partners are creating in the state of Arkansas.

One way to measure economic impact is to look at the value of new wages being added to an economy. Consider the following two bullets, representing the amount of new wages our apprentices have added to Arkansas’ economy in 2022 and so far in 2023:

  • 2022 – $12,040,000
  • 2023 – $24,120,000

Most economists would also add a multiplier of 5X or 6X for the true economic impact. We’re using a more conservative 3X, and here are the numbers of true impact we get:

  • 2022 – $36,120,000
  • 2023 – $72,360,000

So thanks to all you investors in ACDS, both public and private. Together, we’re continuing to generate a positive ROI, making Arkansas an even better place to live.

Happy Memorial Day to all of us.

–Bill Yoder,

Executive Director