Without skilled workers, businesses and economies can’t grow and communities can’t thrive. But what constitutes “skilled” from company to company, or country to country? Winrock’s market-driven approach ensures that workers can develop the varying skills that local employers demand.
Budding entrepreneurs in the Mississippi River Delta region often lack resources crucial to business success — a deficit that discourages job creation, stunts economic growth and perpetuates persistent poverty. To address these issues, the Delta I-Fund program, in partnership with the Delta Regional Authority, trains cohorts of entrepreneurs in successful startup practices, connects them with local business mentors and provides them with capital sourced from private investors. Bolstered by knowledge and funding, these businesspeople are better prepared to bring their innovative ideas to life.
Contact: Jeff Stinson
The Innovation Hub is a collaborative and diverse community of all ages, interests, and skill levels. We have worked hard to create an accessible space that is open to anyone who wants to Learn and Build with us. We believe that the challenges of the 21st-century economy require us to do everything we can to develop, retain, and attract talent — which has always been our state’s greatest asset. That demands a collaborative community approach that exposes everyone to creative possibilities and offers ready access to the information, resources, and instruction they need to bring their ideas to fruition.
We have created an open environment with tools, technology, equipment, and support, along with the opportunity to Learn and Build through formal and informal programs. The result is an acceleration of innovation that leads to new products, new businesses, and new works of art, as well as an enhanced appreciation for what it possible when we provide the pathways for every individual to realize his or her potential.
Success in the global economy starts at the local level. Only when communities have access to capital, business knowledge, trained employees and other resources can companies launch and grow. This program establishes business development incubators across Arkansas that provides rural entrepreneurs the information and training they need to succeed.
Although many parts of Arkansas have prospered thanks to increased economic development, rural areas of the state are still plagued by high levels of unemployment and poverty. Because municipalities and other locally based organizations are on the front lines of addressing these problems, it’s vital their leaders have the knowledge to develop effective strategies to build strong local economies. Winrock provides training to help leaders identify an area’s needs and develop proven approaches to train workers, attract businesses and take advantage of unique local assets.
Skills retraining is essential to sustainable employment for dislocated and long-term unemployed workers. The Job-Driven National Emergency Grant is a collaborative partnership that helps disadvantaged Arkansans gain the skills and referrals they need to land positions in high-growth industries like medical billing and coding. Winrock case managers based at the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith work with prospective employees to locate training options, write resumes, apply for jobs and prepare for interviews.
Workforce skills training is critical for dislocated and unemployed workers to access new employment in high-demand, growth industries. As part of a collaborative effort led by the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services, Winrock helps the state’s long-term unemployed and dislocated workers obtain the training, placement and other services they need to land a new job.
A recent expansion of the Southwest Steel Processing plant in Northeast Arkansas provides an opportunity to improve the area’s economy well beyond the factory walls. This program seeks to create jobs by recruiting and assisting companies that can offer essential services to Southwest Steel Processing. Establishing a robust roster of local suppliers encourages the investment and job creation needed to improve the region’s quality of life.
America’s small businesses have always been an engine for innovation and job creation. In Winrock’s home state of Arkansas, women-owned small businesses have been growing at a rate 1.5 times faster than the national average. Through the Arkansas Women’s Business Center (AWBC), Winrock is helping fuel that trend by providing thousands of hours of training and the sort of access to markets and capital that entrepreneurs need to grow their companies.
Pressured by global demand for cocoa and persistent poverty, many cocoa farmers in Ghana rely on child labor. With limited opportunities for education and livelihoods in rural cocoa communities, youth between 15 and 17 years are particularly at risk of engaging in hazardous child labor. This program works with cocoa communities to raise awareness about the dangers of child labor and offers youth promising alternatives, including skills training, job placement in age-appropriate work and educational opportunities.
Navigating workforce skills training and job opportunities isn’t always intuitive. Which is why Winrock case managers provide assistance to disadvantaged job seekers in Arkansas as they pursue much-needed training and employment. In cooperation with the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services — which received a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor — Winrock case managers provide one-on-one services to ensure that those looking for work receive training, resume writing assistance and other services they need to secure and retain a job.
Poverty and food insecurity are inextricably linked in Bangladesh. Particularly vulnerable are women, youth and those in areas of the country most likely to be impacted by climate change. The goal of this program is to improve nutrition and food security through training in entrepreneurship, improved production of high-value foods as well as reliable access to markets and important agricultural inputs.
Overcrowded classrooms, low pay and limited professional development makes it hard to be a teacher in Malawi. And low teacher morale makes it tough for children to get a quality education. Japan Tobacco International, which sources much of its tobacco in Malawi and funds the ARISE pilot program there, is providing training and resources to teachers in three rural areas of the country where ARISE is active. This support for teachers helps improve the quality of education and contributes to lower levels of child labor.
The story of Burmese specialty coffee is what happens when everything goes right: when the crop is promising, the growers…
Winrock International, the Arkansas-based international development organization with a focus on agricultural, environmental and community development issues, today announced that…
(December 14, 2015) — Fayetteville, Ark., was one of the best cities in America to found a startup in 2015,…
November 10, 2015 — The United States Department of Labor announced today a new project to reduce child labor in…
Household cooking with solid fuels over open fires and in rudimentary cookstoves, in particular the air pollution it creates, are…