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DRA Announces Technical Assistance for Workforce Development Initiative

DRA Announces  Technical Assistance for Workforce  Development Initiative



— The Delta Workforce Program is a DRA initiative designed to support workforce training and education, build longterm community capacity, and increase economic competitiveness across the Lower Mississippi Delta region and Alabama Black Belt.

In partnership with the U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration, and the Appalachian Regional Commission, approximately $29.2 million in Workforce Opportunity for Rural Communities grants will become available in March 2020 to support workforce training and education in rural communities across the Delta and Appalachian regions. To complement the federal partnership, DRA will make $1.5 million in grants available in Summer 2020 and offer post-award technical assistance to grantees.

Communities and regions that have been negatively impacted by economic transition and recovered more slowly can apply for resources to help build their workforce pipelines and strengthen their economies. Potential applicants are strongly encouraged to attend one of DRA’s technical assistance workshops. Guided by subject-matter experts and workforce practitioners, these workshops are designed to provide stakeholders with the systems, resources, and tools necessary to develop and implement comprehensive workforce development programs.

The one-day workshop will be held from 8 a.m.

to 4 p.m. Here are the Mid-South dates and locations: Thursday, March 12, Little Rock Marriott, 3 Statehouse Plaza, Little Rock, Arkansas; Friday, March 13, The Peabody Memphis, 118 South 2nd Street, Memphis, Tennessee; and Thursday, April 9, Hilton Jackson, 1001 East County Line Road Jackson, Mississippi.

Space is limited. Interested participants must RSVP to attend. ***

A-State Business & Technology Center to hold ‘Start Your Small Business Now’ Seminar

JONESBORO — Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center at Arkansas State University will host a “Start Your Small Business Now” seminar in Batesville, Thursday, Feb. 20, at the Chamber of Commerce, 409 Vine Street. The seminar runs from 10 a.m. until 12 noon.

Business consultant Robert Bahn will teach the seminar and will discuss essential startup steps, legal business structures, regulations and licensing, key issues that affect business success and common pitfalls entrepreneurs face.

The program is offered free of charge, but pre-registration is required. To register, visit or call 870-972-3517.

The ASBTDC at A-State is a partnership of the U.S. Small Business Administration, the University of Arkansas at Little Rock College of Business and the Arkansas State University Neil Griffin College of Business. The ASBTDC assists startups, existing businesses and technology businesses. Core services include free consulting and market research plus low to no-cost training. Learn more at

This and other news releases also available online at news.


Boozman leads call urging increased access to UK market for U.S.-grown Rice

LITTLE ROCK — United States Senator John Boozman and a group of his colleagues are urging the Trump Administration to push for increased market access for U.S.grown rice during negotiations with the United Kingdom for a new trade agreement.

In a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, the senators note that prior to 2007, the UK was one of the largest export destinations for American rice.

However, for more than a decade, the European Union has severely limited market access for U.S.-grown rice. Now that the UK is no longer tied to the EU, negotiations for a new agreement provide a fresh opportunity for U.S. rice farmers to help meet the country’s needs.

“Given market demand and existing relationships with Britain’s importers, the U.S. rice industry stands ready to regain significant market share through these negotiations. Restoring this important export market would have a remarkably positive economic impact throughout rice country, which, like the rest of the agricultural economy, has been struggling in recent years,” the senators wrote in the letter.

Boozman authored the letter, which was also signed by Sen. Tom Cotton.

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