Arkansas native chosen for prominent national economic development award

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 33 views 

Southern Business & Development (SB&D) magazine recently recognized Dr. Glen Fenter, president of the Greater Memphis Alliance for a Competitive Workforce (GMAC Workforce), as one of its 2015 Persons of the Year. South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley was also selected for this honor.

Fenter, former president of the Arkansas State University Mid-South and a native of Charleston, Ark., was chosen as Person of the Year specifically for his contributions to workforce development in the Mid-South, said Michael Randle, owner and publisher of the economic development magazine.

Randle said Fenter has supported collaboration throughout the Mid-South for “developing regional approaches to meeting current and future educational and training requirements through the creation of career pathways that begin with secondary education and extend through the provision of economically targeted baccalaureate degrees.”

During his tenure as the Arkansas State satellite campus in West Memphis, Fenter developed the college into a $100 million institution. Now, in his role as president of GMAC Workforce, Fenter is working to create a pipeline of skilled workers by aligning K-12 and higher education programs exactly with employer needs in the Memphis region, which includes eastern Arkansas and north Mississippi.

“The public-private GMACW is one of the most comprehensive workforce development initiatives we’ve ever seen,” Randle said.

Each year SB&D chooses to recognize individuals for this award based on their outstanding contributions to the practice of economic development in the region.  Haley was choses for her leadership in bringing a $500 million Mercedes Benz van plant and a $600 Volvo facility to South Carolina. Construction on both auto manufacturing plants will begin later this year.

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