Candidates for Arkansas governor shared ideas Wednesday for how to prepare the state to meet employment needs.
Democrat Mike Ross and Republican Asa Hutchinson spoke at a Delta Regional Authority conference on increasing jobs in impoverished regions of the state.
Ross said the state must begin educating its children at a younger age by expanding pre-K programs. The Democrat said Arkansas could benefit from his plan to "start sooner and finish stronger."
Republican Asa Hutchinson suggested the state's two-year colleges should work with high schools to train laborers and offer concurrent credit for high school and college courses that could save families money. Hutchinson said local colleges must gear their programs toward the types of jobs in their region, such as hospitality classes in areas that have a high number of tourists. He also said schools are well-placed to train people for jobs like machinists and welders.
The Delta Regional Authority has called for merging programs that combine education and job skills and finding new ways to learn and improve living conditions. The gathering of business and education leaders was held at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.
Compiled from Associated Press reports.