Pilot Program to Support Minority Small Business Development

FORREST CITY, AR - Governor Mike Beebe this afternoon announced that a pilot program established by the 86th General Assembly to develop minority contracting businesses will receive initial funding through a federal workforce grant.

The Small Minority Contractors Surety Bonding and Mentor Protegee Program was established in the 2007 legislative session.  The program will receive an initial one-time funding of $200,000 from a Workforce Innovation in Regional Economic Development Grant.  The program will focus on Arkansas' 17 Delta counties, where use of the grant funding is allowed.

"Good business opportunities rely on good training," said Beebe.  "Combining this grant money with this pilot program will enable us to place more skilled contractors in a part of our state where a well-trained workforce will help our future prospects for economic development."

The funding will primarily be used to develop classes for the training of minority contractors.