JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - Despite challenges in 2020, Jonesboro Unlimited has announced that 842 jobs were added to the city’s economy.
At the end of year four of their five-year strategic plan, a total of nearly 4,000 new jobs were created over four years, per a press release.
Chris Barber, Chairman of Jonesboro Unlimited, says that the job growth through the pandemic and a tornado shows the resilience of the community.
“We’re creating opportunities for individuals to find a place to work that they enjoy in making meaningful contributions to not only their families and lives but to broader community here,” Barber said. “So we’re thrilled to be able to see that in this type of environment.”
Barber mentioned they plan to finish their 5-year plan strong by diversifying their economy.
Jonesboro Unlimited has started the “The Mike Philpot Memorial Scholarship” in honor of Mike Philpot, the Vice President of Economic Development of Jonesboro Unlimited, who passed away recently.
According to Mark Young, President of Jonesboro Unlimited, Philpot was a mentor to many in the profession.
“One of the things he loved doing is mentoring new people to the profession of Economic Development, so as we started to think about how we might honor his legacy and continue that legacy, one of things that came to mind was to start a scholarship.”
The scholarship is administered through the Arkansas Economic Developers and Chamber of Commerce Executives and would pay for a one-week program at the Mid-South Basic Economic Development Institute.
Jonesboro Unlimited announced at Wednesday’s meeting that Steven Lamm will be the new Vice President of Economic Development.
Lamm is an Arkansas State University alumni and had worked for the state as a project manager in business development and as the Vice President of Workforce Development in Fort Smith.
Lamm says that he is excited to contribute to the ongoing development.
“You can drive through town and see that there’s progress taking place and people are making moves,” he said. “I think that really speaks highly of the team here and the work that they’ve done, and I’m excited to be a part of that.”
The new Vice President of Economic Development is expected to start on March 15.