17 counties: Jackson, Arkansas, Monroe, Phillips, Lee, St. Francis, Woodruff, Cross, Crittenden, Poinsett, Craighead, Mississippi, Lincoln, Desha, Drew, Ashley, Chicot
Target Industries: Transportation, Distribution and Logistics; Biofuels; Advanced Manufacturing
The Arkansas Delta 2nd Generation WIRED region (ADWIRED) includes more than two million acres of cultivated land, as well as a large concentration of transportation, logistics and communications infrastructure, making it prime for expansion of education, manufacturing, entrepreneurship and technology. The region is challenged by poverty, low wages, low academic achievement and low workforce skills.
The Arkansas Delta - leveraging its close proximity to the Memphis supply chain hub - will position itself to enhance the shipment of goods worldwide. This is especially important in the automotive and retail industries that are providing just-in-time inventory delivery services.
ADWIRED's goals intend to increase innovation, education and business creation using existing statewide relationships, and bringing the state's science and technology organizations into a regional consortium. The region will meet these goals by employing the following strategies:
- Create the Arkansas Delta Workforce Innovations in Regional Economic Development Academy.
- Partner with industry, government, philanthropic organizations and education to:
- Increase biofuel Research &Development (R&D) capacity;
- Increase the capacity of Global Positioning System (GPS), Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Radio Frequency Identification Systems (RFID) R&D;
- Create an engine test facility; and
- Create an expansion of the advanced manufacturing support infrastructure.
- Expand the education infrastructure necessary to support new technologies and foster economic development.
- Establish an entrepreneurship development system to assist the new high growth, high demand businesses and industries that will result from investment in R&D.
- Expand the workforce development system infrastructure.