Cranes Flocking in NWA (EDITORS NOTE)

by Paul Gatling ([email protected]) 88 views 

If you want to tout the healthy economy of Northwest Arkansas, there is no shortage of data, talking points and “Best Place To” lists that will tell that story.

Or, you could just look up. The area’s economic boom is undeniable, and with the boom comes new apartment complexes, hospitals and office buildings.

Pivoting over the sites of those highly-dense projects is a rapidly growing number of construction cranes. The heavy lifters have hovered over local construction sites before, of course, but there’s likely never been a point when so many have flocked to our area at a single time.

As long as those cranes are so prevalent, might as well use them as a selling point. And that’s exactly what hospital executive Jeremy Barclay does. You can learn more about Barclay, a member of this year’s Forty Under 40 class, on Page 11.

A hospital, Barclay explained to me during our visit, is only as good as the care it provides, and the physician shortage has created a competitive market for recruiting quality physicians.

Barclay, a native Arkansan, admits there is a certain stigma about the state, but recruiting physicians to Northwest Arkansas, he said, is very easy once they actually come and see the area.

Knowing many of the doctors he is recruiting to Northwest Arkansas are taking similar trips to other parts of the country, Barclay always gives them some advice — let the cranes tell the story.

“As you’re touring Northwest Arkansas, count the number of cranes and compare it to what you’ll see elsewhere,” he recommends. “It’s a good indicator of what growth will be like and what Northwest Arkansas will be like in the years to come.”

A small request, but good guidance. And just one example of the insight and knowledge displayed by members of this year’s class.

Know their names. They will be an influence on Northwest Arkansas for years to come.