Director Artee Williams was informed Tuesday, December 2, 2014, that Governor-elect Asa Hutchinson will make a change in leadership for the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services (ADWS). Williams was originally appointed ADWS director by Governor Mike Huckabee in March 2004. He was reappointed by Governor Mike Beebe in 2007.
Williams has served as chairman of the Governor’s Workforce Cabinet and currently serves as chairman of the Arkansas Public Employee Retirement System Board of Trustees. Under Williams’ leadership, ADWS has located workforce centers on select two-year college campuses to better serve job seekers and ease the transition to job training offered on those campuses.
For the last seven years, Director Williams has been a strong supporter of the ¡Hola! Arkansas Career & Business EXPO, a free job and business fair open to the public. His leadership directly enabled us to promote a Diversity Marketplace, foster education, business development and economic synergy by providing platforms to enhance careers and business in Arkansas.
The agency has implemented several work-ready certification programs, including Career Readiness Certification. This nationally-recognized credential further demonstrates a person’s workplace readiness in basic foundational skills.
Nearly 60,000 certifications have been issued to Arkansans since the program began in January 2008. Additionally, ADWS offers Microsoft IT Academy training and certification, making Arkansas the first and only state in the nation to offer this program to adult job seekers.
ADWS has also received recognition for assistance in the development and funding of the Career Pathways program. This program provides opportunities for low-income individuals to obtain certifications and degrees through Arkansas’ two-year community colleges. ADWS recently received the 2014 James F. Walls Award for its innovative reemployment services program which provides intensive services for dislocated workers to ensure they are able to return to gainful employment.
The Arkansas Department of Workforce Services is a state agency that offers a comprehensive array of products, services and programs for employers and job seekers. For more information, visit www.dws.arkansas.gov.