ARSHRM - Arkansas SHRM State Council

Promoting and Serving
the Human Resource Profession in Arkansas

SHRM -  Society for Human Resources Professionals

Workforce Readiness

Welcome to the Workforce Readiness section of the Arkansas SHRM State Council web site. This page will assist you in finding the resources available to you for developing and maintaining workforce readiness. Workforce Readiness in Arkansas is composed of a broad range of organizations and programs, at the federal, state, and local levels. The common goal of these organizations is to provide adequate quantities of trained, reliable workers throughout Arkansas to meet business and industry needs.

This page contains links to Workforce Readiness resources within SHRM and the state of Arkansas. We hope that you check back with us from time to time and see what new resources we have found for you. We also hope you will send us your readiness ideas and resources you have identified so that we might highlight them here.

To accomplish this statewide goal of workforce readiness, a variety of organizations are working individually and collectively in many programs and projects designed to improve employee skills to make our business and industry more attractive to outside interests and more competitive in our global economy.

These goals can be accomplished by focusing on the following "key" workforce readiness issues:

  • Setting minimum education standards for public education.
  • Ensuring the availability of "technical skills" training at the post-secondary school level and above.
  • Assisting employers in determining their current and future workforce training needs.
  • Assisting in the development of "tailored" training programs where "standardized" training programs currently don’t exist.
  • Assists in "linking" together business at the local level that has similar workforce readiness and development problems and needs.
  • Helps businesses "partner" with each other to share workforce readiness opportunities and costs.
  • Helps discover sources of training and training opportunities, and then connect partners with needs.
  • Helps discover sources of training and development funding at all levels, then connects partners with needs.
  • Assists in matching trained workers with open positions
  • Provides access to workforce training and retraining opportunities to meet changing business needs.

To provide some perspective on the workforce readiness effort in Arkansas, workforce readiness programs (in some form and by many names) have been around in Arkansas for over 40 years. These efforts have taken the form of both federal and state initiatives. The first really organized efforts have taken place in the past 10 to 15 years, as business has partnered with local educational institutions to provide "industry-specific" training to fill workforce training gaps.

More recently, partnerships or "consortiums" are being established among many businesses at the local level with similar or unique training needs that are not being addressed through traditional education systems. Business works with local educational institutions to develop and deliver this needed training in non-traditional methods and locations.

In the past five years, there has been a move in Arkansas to start consolidating these many and varied workforce readiness providers. In many areas, local Vocational Technical (VOTEC) schools have combined with Community Colleges to pool resources, contain costs, and better deliver needed training and development programs throughout their communities.

The face of workforce readiness has changed, and is continuing to change, and knowing where to start looking can be a challenge. The starting point for any business for "tapping" into existing or customized training and development resources is your local community college. They have dedicated staff and resources focused on workforce readiness and development and can be your first step toward mission accomplishment.

Core Leadership Area:  Workforce Readiness  

SHRM chapters around the nation collectively seek to improve the workforce at all levels.  Specific campaigns in recent years include: 

HR Apprenticeship Program:  SHRM Foundation’s HR Apprenticeship Program which provides a DOL-approved template for the two-year HR apprenticeship.

Together Forward @ Work: SHRM’s call to action to bring racial equity to the workplace.

Back to Work Campaign:  SHRM’s Covid-20 Recovery Response.

Veterans at Work:  SHRM Foundation’s program to increase engagement of veterans by providing guidance to employers in the recruiting, selection and retention of veterans.

Employing Abilities @ Work: SHRMs initiative targeting improvement of professionals’ skills and abilities to hire, develop, advance and retain individuals with disabilities.

Getting Talent Back to Work:  SHRMs initiative which seeks to move people with criminal backgrounds. back into the workforce.

Aging Workforce: SHRMs initiative providing resources for recruit, retain, and leveraging the value of an age-diverse workforce.


Workforce Readiness in Arkansas

Arkansas SHRM State Council Workforce Readiness Director and local chapter advocates are a great resource that you have available to you. These are your "resident experts" on Workforce Readiness opportunities and can provide a wealth of information and referrals to help you "connect" with workforce activities and providers in your local area. Here is a listing of those contacts.

Arkansas State Council, Workforce Readiness Director

Brittney T. Garland, MA • Youth Home, Inc.
20400 Colonel Glenn Road, Little Rock, AR 72210
Office: 501-821-5500 • Fax: 501-821-5580

Central Arkansas (CAHRA) Chapter Workforce Readiness Contact

Kevin Robinson, PHR • VP/HR Manager • IBERIABANK
5800 R Street, Little Rock, AR 72207
Phone: 501-661-7882

Northwest Arkansas (NOARK) Chapter Workforce Readiness Contact

Judith Tavano, SHRM-CP, SPHR 

North Arkansas (NAHRA) Chapter Workforce Readiness Contact

Cheri Conner • Student Advisor • North Arkansas College
1515 Pioneer Drive, Harrison, AR 72601
Phone: 870-391-3154

Western Arkansas (WAHRA) Chapter Workforce Readiness Contact

Dawn McClure • HR Manager • RHeem 

Northeast Arkansas (NEASHRM) Chapter Workforce Readiness Contact

Alan Decker • Deputy Director • Arkansas State University - Delta Center
5501 Krueger Drive, Jonesboro, AR 72401
Phone: 870-972-3000

West Central Arkansas (WCASHRM) Chapter Workforce Readiness Contact

Lanetta Bryant • Dept. of Workforce Services
2254 Albert Pike Road, Suite A
Hot Springs, AR 71913

South Arkansas (SAHRA) Chapter Workforce Readiness Contact

Charley Jackson • HR Business Partner • Lockheed Martin
Highway 205, Highland Industrial Park, Camden, AR 71701
Phone: 870-574-5943

North Central Arkansas (NCASHRM) Chapter Workforce Readiness Contact

Dale Speight • HRD Specialist • Halliburton Energy Services
385 Honey Hill Road, Searcy, AR  72143
Phone: 501-278-8625 • Fax: 501-279-1364