North Arkansas College Associate Vice President for Economic and Workforce Development Joe Berry sharing information about local workforce development initiatives in north central Arkansas with participants at the Community Development Summit in Harrison.


The University of Central Arkansas Center for Community and Economic Development partnered with community development organizations and other institutions to host the Community Development Summit Tuesday, April 24 in Harrison.

Partners included Harrison Regional Chamber of Commerce, Northwest Arkansas Economic Development District, North Arkansas College, Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation and Arkansas Economic Development Commission.

The Summit, a community and economic development training event for community leaders, was held last week at North Arkansas College in Harrison. Over 50 community leaders attended the event, representing 12 cities and 10 counties.

Amy Whitehead, director for the Center of Community and Economic Development, said, “Our goal was to equip those in attendance with the tools they need to make their communities successful.”

Community leaders in attendance heard from experts in the field from across the state and had the opportunity to network with one another.

The Community Development Summit covered topics such as community branding and marketing, workforce development, grants, strategic planning and creative placemaking.

Terrance Clark, founder of Thrive, a nonprofit marketing and small business support agency located in Helena, presenting “Branding Your Community” to community leaders from across Arkansas at the Community Development Summit in Harrison.

The event marked the culmination of UCA’s work to assist with the #BelieveBooneCounty initiative, a countywide strategic planning process that focused on community and economic development.

“I thought the Summit was a very good training event,” said city of Jasper Mayor Jan Larson. “I am from a very small city and am always looking for opportunities to learn new ideas that can be adapted for our community. Today I heard some great ideas I hope to use in Jasper!”

Centerton Mayor Bill Edwards said, “As an elected official, what I took away from the Summit was a lot of new information on how to make my community a great place to live, work and play. Centerton is one of the fastest growing cities in the state and I want to make sure that we are creating a future that continues to allow Centerton to grow and be successful. Hearing from a variety of community and economic professionals across the state exposed me to initiatives I would not have known about otherwise.”

The event was provided free of charge to participants and made possible through the support of the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation and the Arkansas Economic Development Commission.

For more information, visit uca.edu/cced or call Shelby Fiegel at 501-450-5269.

Center for Community and Economic Development
The Center for Community and Economic Development’s mission is to have a positive impact on communities by equipping leaders with economic tools and resources, building consensus to achieve community goals and bringing UCA resources and communities together.

CCED envisions communities across Arkansas and the country with robust economies, a flourishing quality of life, and diverse and engaged citizen leaders. CCED provides customized training and technical assistance to communities and their leaders. Learn more at uca.edu/cced.