On August 29-30, BRTC president Dr. Martin Eggensperger, Vice President for Institutional Advancement Karen Liebhaber, and BRTC Foundation board member and executive director of the Northeast Arkansas Regional Intermodal Authority Graycen Bigger attended the Arkansas Economic Developers & Chamber Executives’ (AEDCE) annual meeting in Little Rock. The AEDCE conference brings chamber and economic development leaders from Arkansas together to help improve the state’s economy.
Governor Asa Hutchinson delivered the keynote address at the awards luncheon where he was also 1 of 5 other leaders who was awarded the Maria Haley Lifetime Leadership Award for Economic Development. Arkansas Secretary of Commerce Mike Preston delivered a State of the State address, overviewing the past year in economic development. Other guests included Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Dr. Chris Jones, both Arkansas gubernatorial candidates.
Attending this conference is important to Black River Technical College because of its work with local chambers of commerce, economic development organizations, business, and industry. Also, meeting individuals who work to recruit businesses to Arkansas helps BRTC leaders identify and prepare to address upcoming workforce and community needs.
AEDCE is a statewide professional association representing economic developers and chamber executives in Arkansas. It is an essential network of economic developers across Arkansas who work together to bring business and industry to the state. It is through their work, in collaboration of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission (AEDC), local chambers of commerce, and other community leaders, that new businesses such as Emerson in Ash Flat and U.S. Steel in Blytheville bring their operations to Arkansas.