Economic Development Chief Says State Has Workforce Problems

LITTLE ROCK (AP) - Arkansas' economic development chief said today that the state faces problems in providing a trained workforce for some industries.

Arkansas Economic Development Commission Director Maria Haley told The Associated Press that her agency is working to improve training so employers will find a better suited workforce. Haley would not say whether the availability of trained workers hurt Marion in its competition for a Toyota manufacturing plant.

Hino Motors, which is a subsidiary of Toyota, said last week that Marion would not be in the running for a factory if the company decided to build a new truck plant. Marion now is home to a $160 million Hino parts plant that makes axles and other components for Toyota's Tundra pickup.

Governor Beebe has said economic development officials are discussing Hino's decision with the company. Haley says Marion is still a prime spot for industry and the community should not limit itself to the auto sector.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)