Rogers, AR— 9/1/2021    Northwest Arkansas Economic Development District (NWAEDD) was pleased that the 2021 Southwest Region Economic Development Association (SWREDA) Annual Conference was hosted in Rogers, AR.  It was a great opportunity to showcase all that the region has to offer.  This year’s theme was Collaboration: The Key to Resilience.  During the first week of September members from across the state and neighboring states in Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas all joined for a first class educational and networking event that covered a broad range of issues and topics throughout the five-state region. 

Strong economic development projects that are funded by the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) Austin Regional office are recognized each year.  The Northwest Arkansas Robotics Training Center was chosen for one of the “Star of the Southwest Awards” from the U. S. Economic Development Administration.  Steve Clark, President/CEO of the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce, and Joe Willis, NWAEDD Executive Director, proudly shared the story behind the project.

There were many wonderful speakers who shared their knowledge and experience with peers.  U.S. Congressman Steve Womack and the honorable Mayor Greg Hines of Rogers provided a warm welcome to the crowd.  The group received a 2021 federal legislative overview from Joe McKinney, Executive Director of the National Association of Development Organizations (NADO).  Participants also heard from Jorge Ayala, Regional Director, U.S. Economic Development Administration Regional Office, from Austin, TX, who provided the 2021 State of the Region Report. 

It is apparent that “Collaboration: The Key to Resilience” truly does summarize the efforts being made from all the entities that were represented at the conference.