April 27, 2007

Workforce Data Highlight West Memphis’ Strong Available Labor Capacity

Recent population data show a strong East Arkansas labor force that travel to other counties – and often other states – for work. Dr. Glen Fenter, president of Mid-South Community College (pictured), recently highlighted these figures… and pointed to these workers as yet another asset available to relocating industry.

Dr. Fenter zeroed in on the workers who leave the state of Arkansas for work each day.

Based on figures from the U.S. Census, 7,253 members of the 20,154 strong Crittenden County workforce held jobs outside their state of residence (about 36 percent). In Marion and West Memphis alone, nearly 6,000 of the approximately 15,000 workers traveled to another state for their livelihood.

In Crittenden and the five counties surrounding it (Cross, Poinsett, Mississippi, St. Francis and Lee), 10,537 residents reported working in a state other than Arkansas, and another 7,427 were employed outside their counties of residence.

“What that tells me is that we have thousands of workers motivated enough to leave home every day and go to work in another county or state and that we have citizens amply and ably qualified to compete with the workforce in their destination county or state,” Dr. Fenter said. “And I am confident that most of them will choose to work closer to home when we grow more comparable wage jobs in eastern Arkansas.”

West Memphis, Arkansas, is a home to industrial parks, distribution centers, and raw property that make prime locations for corporations looking to open a new distribution centers, processing centers, or manufacturing facilities. These properties are convenient to intermodal rail yards, major interstate highway access, deepwater river ports, a major cargo airport, and a MSA population of more than 1 million. Relocating and expanding companies can get vital site selection data and incentive information about these promising locations from West Memphis Economic Development.