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Northwest Arkansas Builds on its Success

Fueled by an amazing entrepreneurial spirit, Northwest Arkansas emerged from modest beginnings to become one of the nation's dynamic economic regions. Industry leaders such as Walmart, Tyson Foods and J.B. Hunt started here, and their presence continues to drive growth here. The University of Arkansas, John Brown University and NorthWest Arkansas Community College provide resources to small- and mid-sized companies to stimulate growth.

Yet, Northwest Arkansas is evolving, using positive experiences and lessons learned over the past 25 years to take on new challenges. It's an incredible region that's investing in its future. The region is working hard to identify and support the region's next great companies through entrepreneurial programs, and it's investing heavily into quality-of-life amenities such as Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, an outdoor music venue called the Walmart AMP and the nation's newest paved bike trail: the Razorback Regional Greenway.

The Northwest Arkansas Council and its regional partners are hard at work pursuing new goals after the successful completion of almost every task described in a previous strategic plan. The new three-year plan, unveiled in January, prioritizes strengthening the region’s workforce and regional employers’ connections to schools. The Council and its partners want to upgrade the region’s utility and transportation infrastructure, and develop a new generation of Northwest Arkansas community leaders.

The Northwest Arkansas Council stepped up its regional role in January 2011, announcing the Greater Northwest Arkansas Development Strategy, a five-year blueprint for regional success. It focused on economic development, educational excellence, infrastructure, and community vitality.

The Council’s pursuit of the original plan’s 16 objectives and 56 strategic actions with dozens of regional partners went so well that the Council’s Executive Committee last year directed staff to wrap up that work about a year early and to prepare the new three-year strategy.

The statistical improvements over the past few years speak for themselves.

There's so much to discover in Northwest Arkansas, and this website is an excellent gateway to the region. 

Check out these terrific online resources to learn more about Northwest Arkansas:

Explore NWA: The Northwest Arkansas Tourism Association publishes a visitors guide, highlighting such things as Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Arvest Ballpark, Bella Vista, Bentonville, Fayetteville, Eureka Springs and other places that are excellent tourist destinations.

Digital Ambassadors: Join the more than 540 volunteers who share positive news on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn in the Northwest Arkansas Digital Ambassadors program. Ambassadors help our region by sharing messages about Northwest Arkansas on social media. Our top ambassadors win prizes and many are donated by local companies, restaurants and entertainment venues.

Northwest Arkansas Education Report Card: The Northwest Arkansas Council works with the University of Arkansas Office for Education Policy on an annual report about education from kindergarten through college. We're proud of our schools, and there are great educational opportunities to be discovered.

Graduate NWA: The Council is working with six colleges and universities to assist nontraditional students who want to pursue college degrees. The percentage of Northwest Arkansas residents with at least a bachelor’s degree is increasing, and we want to keep that momentum going in the right direction.

Northwest Arkansas Trails: Whether you bike, run, hike or walk, our growing trails system takes you off the beaten path even though you don't have to leave the urban areas. The Razorback Regional Greenway, a 36-mile paved path from Bella Vista to Fayetteville, is complete and it's the system’s spine. More than 150 miles of soft surface trails are good options, too. You can show your support for the Northwest Arkansas trail system by purchasing trail-related gear.

Northwest Arkansas Economic Indicators: Our search tool helps people interested in knowing more about the region, and our dashboard provides statistics focused on such things as population, job creation and personal income.

Customized Reports: Our Report Builder allows users to collect customized information about Northwest Arkansas. There’s information available about such things as education, infrastructure, business incentives and our workforce. There’s demographic information about our largest cities, including Bentonville, Fayetteville, Rogers, Siloam Springs and Springdale.

State of the Northwest Arkansas Region Report: The Northwest Arkansas Council works with the University of Arkansas Center for Business and Economic Research to produce an annual report on the region, comparing Northwest Arkansas to other regions in the U.S.

Diversity Guide: The Northwest Arkansas Diversity Resource Guide provides information about cultural aspects of the region. The number of businesses, services and churches to serve our increasingly diverse area is on the rise.

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