UACCM, Rockefeller Institute to Host Workforce Summit

Rural Workforce Development Summit Logo

The University of Arkansas Community College at Morrilton and the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute are teaming up to host the Rural Workforce Development-Southern Region Summit, a three-day event where players in rural economies can convene and collaborate on ways to increase workforce opportunities. 

The summit will convene industry and business leaders, representatives from educational institutions, the public sector, non-profits, and more. Attendees will explore a plethora of topics:
  • Use of labor market and data to drive strategies
  • Public-private collaboration to attract employers and define workforce requirements 
  • Workforce readiness and training
  • Apprenticeship and job placements
  • Recruitment and retention
  • Sector-based best practices related to workforce (i.e. veterans, telecommunications, water, manufacturing, health care, etc.)
  • Succession planning, including strategies such as worker cooperatives
Attendees will have various avenues where they can gain tools and ideas that they can bring back to their own communities. The event includes valuable networking opportunities, where people can address specific issues and learn from others. 

Speakers, panels, and presentations are planned, including figures from the business community, higher education administrators, and students. Speakers include Mike Rogers, senior director of maintenance and refrigeration of Tyson Foods; Ted Abernathy, managing partner of Economic Leadership, LLC; Ruby Johnson, ARNEC director; Chester Fort, regional manager of West Fraser; and Jason Green, vice president of ABB Motors & Mechanical Inc.

Scheduled panelists from UACCM include Robert Keeton, dean of technical studies; Jessica Rohlman, director of the department of workforce development and community education; and Jacob Keck, a UACCM student. 

For the first two days, October 2-3, the summit will take place at the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute at Petit Jean Mountain. On October 4, the gathering will move to the Workforce Training Center at the UACCM campus. 

The more attendees that join with a stake in rural workforce development, the richer the summit will be. Register at, and explore the summit’s agenda.


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