State of NWA Region Report to Be Shared Sept. 25

The Center for Business and Economic Research in the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas, in collaboration with the Northwest Arkansas Council, will release the eighth annual State of the Northwest Arkansas Region Report.

The report, first published in 2011, will be shared at a Sept. 25 luncheon, beginning at 11:30 a.m. at the Northwest Arkansas Board of Realtors Event Center at 314 N. Goad Springs Road in Lowell. Attendees can arrive at 11 a.m. for networking.

Speakers will include Ross DeVol, a fellow of the Walton Family Foundation who focuses on research into policies related to economic vitality of Northwest Arkansas and America’s heartland; Nelson Peacock, the Northwest Arkansas Council’s president and chief executive officer; and economist Mervin Jebaraj, director of the university’s Center for Business and Economic Research.

Peacock will review aspects of the Greater Northwest Arkansas Development Strategy, a plan that will guide the Northwest Arkansas Council’s pursuits over the next three years. The plan, which was made public this summer, includes working closely with the University of Arkansas to double the research funding and enhance the innovation ecosystem to improve the region’s economy.

DeVol’s presentation is called “Characteristics of Innovative Places: The role of the university and entrepreneurs in fostering economic growth.” He will discuss the importance of education and knowledge in metropolitan growth, talk about universities that excel in technology transfer and describe Utah’s success spurred by decisions nearly 20 years ago to expand science and technology investment.

Jebaraj will outline the economic highlights in the State of the Northwest Arkansas Region Report as well as economic data and statistics from the Center for Business and Economic Research’s Quarterly Business Analysis. The State of the Northwest Arkansas Region Report is widely viewed as one of the best measures of performance compared to peer regions such as Madison, Wisconsin; Raleigh, North Carolina; Provo, Utah; Des Moines, Iowa; and Austin, Texas.

The cost for the program and luncheon is $45. Preregistration is required, and the deadline is Sept. 21.

Pictured at the top: Mervin Jebaraj, the director of the University of Arkansas Center for Business and Economic Research, talked about Northwest Arkansas' economic success compared to peer regions at the 2017 State of the Northwest Arkansas Region Report luncheon.