LITTLE ROCK, AR (KAIT/KARK) - The state of Arkansas must be prepared to address challenges and build a future for companies in the computing and data analysis industries, both state and business officials said Thursday.
According to a report from Little Rock television station KARK, the Governor's Blue Ribbon Commission spent several months looking into areas where the state of Arkansas can attract companies in the field.
The commission also suggested that a public/private partnership group called the Arkansas Partnership for Data Analytics and Computing, governed by a 10-member board, to help with the issue.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced the formation of a group to look at the issue over a five-year period, KARK reported.
Charles Morgan, who is the CEO of telecommunications company First Orion Corporation, said the state has to address the issue.
"The future of Arkansas' economic development is tied to our ability to succeed in data analysis and computing," Morgan said. "It is a technology that cuts across our leading industries. If we are to succeed in retaining and growing existing jobs and recruiting industry, we have to have the talent and technical capabilities to meet this opportunity. A public-private partnership is needed to collaborate in developing the talent we all need in industry to compete in data analysis and computing."
Arkansas Economic Development Commission executive director Mike Preston said the issue is key.
"The opportunity to succeed is enhanced as these great Arkansas companies work in conjunction with the state and with higher education. Together, we're going to propel Arkansas to lead in this important, transformational business effort," Preston said.