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Stronger Economies Together - Southeast Arkansas Region

Southeast Arkansas Stronger Economies Together Region 

Arkansas, Ashley, Bradley, Chicot, Cleveland, Desha, Drew, Grant, Jefferson and Lincoln counties are working together to strengthen the regional economy.

Over the next few months, local leaders will be seeking input from residents, businesses and other stakeholders to design and implement a strategic plan that builds on the Southeast Arkansas region's assets and comparative economic strengths.

Civic Forums

Two civic forums were held in the region for stakeholders to explore and discuss the region's strengths, challenges and opportunities.The first regional civic forum was held on October 19 in Star City. The second forum was held on November 15 in Lake Village.

Unable to attend a civic forum or need a recap of what was discussed?

Planning Session 1: Overview & Exploration of Regional Data

The first formal planning session was held on Wednesday, January 24, 2018 in Star City. During this session, regional representatives reviewed results from the civic forums and examined regional economic data. They identified five key industry clusters for further consideration:

  1. Agribusiness, Food Processing and Technology
  2. Chemicals
  3. Arts, Entertainment, Recreation & Visitor Industries
  4. Forest & Wood Products
  5. Transportation & Logistics

Learn more about the Session 1 in the session notes and explore links below. 

Picture of report outs from tables at Stronger Economies Together civic forum in Star City.

Planning Session 2: Evidence-Based Planning

Session 2 was be held on February 14, 2018 in Monticello. During this session the planning team examined economic data related to five key industry clusters of interest that were determined during Session 1.

Learn more about what was discussed during this session:

Planning Session 3: Connecting Capitals

Session 3 held on February 27, 2018 in Pine Bluff. At this session the planning team explored assets that can be used to support regional economic development efforts, discussed challenges facing the region and began to develop goals. Key industries and foundational efforts to be addressed in the regional plan include:

  • Agribusiness, Food Processing & Technology
  • Arts, Entertainment, Recreation & Visitor Industries
  • Forest & Wood Products
  • Social Capital Development

The following documents provide information about Session 3:

Planning Session 4: Finalizing the PlanStronger Economies Together participants participating in a domino activity

Session 4 was held on March 7 in Stuttgart. Meeting notes and other materials from this session include:

To get involved, contact one of the individuals listed below: 

Patrecia Hargrove, Southeast Arkansas Economic Development, (870) 536-1971  

Stacey McCullough, University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension, (501) 671-2078

Steve Mosher, USDA Rural, (479) 968-3497 ext. 112

About Stronger Economies Together (SET)

Two regions in Arkansas are currently participating in SET - one in Northeast Arkansas and one in Southeast Arkansas. Visit the Arkansas SET website to learn more about the program in our state.

Stronger Economies Together is a partnership among the Cooperative Extension Service, USDA Rural Development, the four Regional Rural Development Centers with leadership from the Southern Rural Development Center, USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), and the Purdue Center for Regional Development. Visit the national SET website for more information.

Logos for University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, United States Department of Agriculture, Southern Rural Development Center, and Purdue University Center for Regional Development