The Northwest Arkansas Council has created a new program to broaden the knowledge of Northwest Arkansas for job seekers across the globe, and it’s established a new website to provide expanding companies with an array of business-focused information about the region.
The Finding NWA program was created after the Council’s staff consulted with corporate recruiters at Northwest Arkansas’ largest companies. Its website provides recruiters working for those companies and out-of-state job seekers with information about living and working in the region, but the overall program will continue to evolve as new needs are identified.
“We hear consistently from our region’s corporate recruiters that we need more effective ways to tell a cohesive Northwest Arkansas story,” said Mike Malone, the Council’s president and CEO. “The photographs, text, graphics, videos and statistics about Northwest Arkansas on the Finding NWA website provide a full picture of what our region is, and it demonstrates we’re headed in a good direction.”
Additionally, business-focused information is on the new website called NorthwestArkansas.info. It provides company executives and site selectors with a single online location where they’ll find just about everything a company may want to know about the region’s business climate, business costs, workforce, the region’s economy, its amenities and its cities.
The Council’s research and surveys in previous years showed people living in more distant locations had little knowledge of Northwest Arkansas beyond knowing it was the home to Walmart, which sits at the top of the Fortune 500. Some individuals knew the University of Arkansas and Tyson Foods were in the region, but they couldn’t say much else about Northwest Arkansas.
The Council in the past year commissioned research by DataRank to better understand digital conversations about the region. It provided insight into what people were saying on social media networks about Northwest Arkansas and how the region is viewed. The information helped guide the development of the Finding NWA program and the business-focused website.
Creating the Finding NWA program falls within the goals described in the Greater Northwest Arkansas Development Strategy, a three-year plan unveiled by the Council and its partners in January 2015. The plan describes the need to “align placemaking activities to support new talent recruitment, and support a new web/social-media portal to promote the region’s culinary, music, arts and outdoor experiences.”
“One of our goals will be to make sure the recruiters know the newest information about the region,” said Anna Clark, who leads the Finding NWA program for the Council. “Corporate recruiters already do fantastic work, and we’ll do all we can to ensure that more job candidates who live far from Arkansas know about our region.
“Relocating to a new region for a job can be complicated and intimidating, and we want to help people ease into Northwest Arkansas.”