ACDS Receives $1.39M Grant from the Delta Regional Authority, U.S. Department of Labor to Scale Up and Scale Out Tech Opportunities in Rural Arkansas

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The Arkansas Center for Data Sciences (ACDS) has been awarded $1,390,214 by the Delta Regional Authority (DRA), in partnership with the U.S. Department of Labor, through the Workforce Opportunity for Rural Communities (WORC) Initiative to further their proven model utilizing Pre-Apprenticeship Training, Work-Based Learning Internships, and Registered Apprenticeship Programs (RAP) to address IT-related workforce gaps throughout Arkansas.

“We’re grateful for the funding provided by the DRA and the U.S. Department of Labor that will allow us to expand our services in key counties throughout the state,” said ACDS Executive Director Bill Yoder. “The need for technology talent in Arkansas is great. This investment will enable us to equip more Arkansans to fill in-demand technology jobs – and help create thriving communities along the way.”

“The Workforce Opportunity for Rural Communities Initiative provides grants to engage local communities and help build pathways for workers to good-paying jobs,” explained Acting Assistant Secretary for Employment and Training Brent Parton in a news release from the U.S. Department of Labor.

The WORC Initiative will allow ACDS to scale up their existing work in Craighead and Jefferson Counties, while allowing ACDS to scale out efforts into Independence, Jackson, and Mississippi Counties. The WORC Initiative and ACDS have a shared goal of reaching and developing a skilled workforce in diverse, rural communities.

The Arkansas Center for Data Sciences is dedicated to growing the state’s IT economy by fostering collaboration, establishing critical partnerships, and developing talent in high-demand, high-growth areas such as software development, data analytics and cybersecurity.  ACDS was created as a result of Governor Hutchinson’s Blue Ribbon Commission and has quickly established programs across the state of Arkansas.

ACDS works with key partners including: Arkansas Office of Skills Development, Division of Workforce Service, Arkansas Economic Development Commission, Forge Institute, Xpanxion Technology, Pluralsight, Arkansas Academy of Computing, University of

Arkansas Global Campus, Newport Economic Development Commission, ASU Newport, SEARK Community College, Arkansas Local Workforce Boards, Shorter College, and others.
Learn more about ACDS at

Press Release

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