Forty Under 40: Joe Rollins

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 1,695 views 

Class of 2020 Forty Under 40 Joe Rollins Director of Workforce Development Northwest Arkansas Council, Springdale

In his work at the Northwest Arkansas Council, Joe Rollins has the opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives.

Rollins serves as a liaison between students, educators and business leaders, working to develop and strengthen the region’s education programs so that students get needed training for area jobs and employers have a skilled workforce.

“I love the work because it puts me in between training programs at the high school, community college or university level, and the arms of employers waiting to catch those graduates.”

Born in Springdale, Rollins is from a long line of educators, including his dad, Jim Rollins, former Springdale School District superintendent.

Rollins graduated with a business education degree in 2004, earning a master’s in educational administration in 2006 and a doctorate in 2018, all from the University of Arkansas. He holds an educational specialist degree from Harding University.

Rollins started out teaching business in Springdale schools in 2004, then became Springdale High School’s assistant principal in 2010. He said his most significant achievement came in 2015 as founding principal of Don Tyson School of Innovation, citing the change it represented in how education is offered.

In 2018, Rollins began his current job, a perfect fit due to his interest in helping graduates earn jobs using skills they’re taught in school. To bridge the gap between students and employers, Rollins focuses on pipeline development strategies, facilitating apprenticeships, internships and career training programs, and invites employers to join the design process.

“There is a major push now in IT, healthcare, transportation, logistics and construction-related fields, and we want to make sure we continue to fill that pipeline.”

Active on his family’s farm, Rollins is a Rodeo of the Ozarks board member.