Business and political leaders meet for an Economic Summit Luncheon

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HARRISON, Ar. – Business and political leaders from around the state of Arkansas, came together for an Economic Summit Luncheon, on Oct. 8.

The Economic Development Leadership Summit, held at the Durand Center in Harrison, was all about giving Arkansas state leaders a first-hand look at what Harrison and Boone County has to offer now and in the future.

“Things are really starting to happen in Harrison like they never have,” Jerry Jackson, Harrison’s mayor said.

“We’ve got nine manufacturers here, five of them are global in nature,” Bob Largent, President/CEO of Harrison Regional Chamber of Commerce said.

Those manufacturers include Wabash Wood Products and Westrock.

Both businesses were sponsors of the summit

“We just left a tour of Wabash Products and Westrock, and it was amazing how technology has affected these industries,” Jackson said.

Largent explained why he wanted state leaders at the summit.

“We want them to be educated on why Harrison, why Boone County?” Largent said. “We’re the place to be in the state of Arkansas.”

Those state leaders included Arkansas Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin and the state’s Secretary of Commerce, Mike Preston.

Preston says an issue on the Nov. ballot will raise more tax funding.

Lt. Gov. Griffin is especially excited about the training

“Making sure that everyone from those coming out of High School, to those coming out of a two-year college, or four-year college, are ready for what the private sector needs,” Lt. Gov. Griffin said.

Economic development and education go hand in hand, particularly STEM.

“We’ve got to continue to encourage STEM education,” Lt. Gov. Griffin said. “Science, technology, engineering and math.
“Almost everything involves STEM. And I’ll tell you the good-paying jobs that we want to recruit here, they have something to do with STEM.”

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