Announcements

Southwest Arkansas Development Alliance (SADA) Receives National Association of Development Organizations 2019 Impact Award

pictured left to right…
Stacey Southerland, CTE Coordinator, DeQueen Mena Education Service Cooperative
Katie Robertson, CTE Coordinator, South Central Service Cooperative
Mary Godwin, SADA Secretary/Treasurer, Prescott/Nevada County Economic Development
Scott Koons, NADO President, North Central Florida Regional Planning Council
Renee Dycus, Executive Director, Southwest Arkansas Planning and Development District
Shannon Puckett, CTE Coordinator, Southwest Arkansas Education Cooperative

WASHINGTON, DC – Southwest Arkansas Development Alliance in partnership with Southwest Arkansas Education Cooperative, DeQueen Mena Education Service Cooperative, South Central Service Cooperative, University of Arkansas Hope – Texarkana, and Southwest Arkansas Planning and Development District has received a 2019 Aliceann Wohlbruck Impact Award from the National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) for the Explore Success Youth Manufacturing Conference. 

The Southwest Arkansas Development Alliance (SADA) partnered with the Southwest Arkansas Education Cooperative, DeQueen Mena Education Service Cooperative, South Central Service Cooperative, University of Arkansas Hope – Texarkana, and Southwest Arkansas Planning and Development District hosted the first annual Explore Success, a regional career expo and job fair for youth. SADA is an 8 county regional group made up of primarily economic developers whose mission is to provide leadership required to attract, promote, and support new and existing enterprise growth throughout the Southwest Arkansas region. The Explore Success event was held in the fall of 2018 in conjunction with manufacturing day for 8th graders. This event invited employers from all over Southwest Arkansas to meet with the students and give them information on what their company does and what it takes to become employed. The event began with Paul Vitale, a motivational speaker who encouraged the students. The students were then broken into groups where they heard from individual employers and visited booths. Approximately 1,200 students participated representing 16 schools. Approximately 25 employers were on hand which included Lockheed Martin, Domtar, Tyson Foods, Firestone, Cooper Tire, and many others. In addition to the fall event, The Explore Success Job Fair was held for 11th and 12th graders in the spring of 2019. This event included guest speakers representing local business and industry along with a traditional job fair. Approximately 800 juniors and seniors participated representing 10 schools and 35 employers.

NADO is a Washington, DC-based membership association of regional development organizations that promote programs and policies that strengthen local governments, communities, and economies through regional cooperation, program delivery, and comprehensive strategies.  The association’s Impact Awards program recognizes regional development organizations and their partners for improving the economic and community competitiveness of our nation’s regions and local communities. 

Award-winning projects were honored during NADO’s 2019 Annual Training Conference, held October 19-22 in Reno, NV.  The 2019 class of award recipients consists of 100 projects from 66 organizations spanning 24 states.  These projects are presented in an interactive “Story Map” developed by NADO and CivicLens that includes project summaries and partners.  The Story Map is available online at:  https://www.nado.org/impactawards/.      

“The Aliceann Wohlbruck Impact Awards program is an opportunity each year for NADO to publicly recognize the important services that regional development organizations deliver to their local communities,” said 2018-2019 NADO President Scott Koons, executive director of the North Central Florida Regional Planning Council, located in Gainesville.  “The projects awarded have made significant impacts on their regions and demonstrate the diversity of programs and resources provided by regional development organizations across the country.” 

The NADO Impact Awards are presented in honor of the late Aliceann Wohlbruck who was NADO’s first executive director and served 24 years as a tireless champion for regional approaches to economic development in rural communities.


For more information about this award-winning project, contact Steve Harris, SADA Chair, (870) 777-8485, steve@hopeusa.com  

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