New report outlines NWA's roadmap to mobile leadership
From rocket ships to scooters, a new report outlines ways for Arkansas to leverage its existing expertise to become a leader in all things mobile.
Driving the news: An appointed council of business leaders, academics and policymakers handed the document of recommendations to Gov. Asa Hutchinson at a news conference Thursday.
Why it matters: The global transportation and logistics industry is valued at about $10 trillion dollars annually. Meanwhile, burgeoning industries around new tech, like flying cars and public-sector space travel, are estimated to hit $1 trillion by 2040.
The big picture: Arkansas can tap into those fields because it has a wealth of transportation-related intellect tucked into companies like Walmart, J.B. Hunt and Tyson Foods, that together manage more than 30,000 semi-trucks.
- Of note: The University of Arkansas recognized the need to fill the workforce pipeline and has a top-ranked supply chain management track.
Details: The report makes detailed recommendations in six key areas:
- Seek investments to give economic fuel to a new mobility economy.
- Fortify workforce and academia to build a qualified workforce.
- Set organizational infrastructure in the form of establishing a government office focused on advanced mobility.
- Arrange community events and storytelling to educate citizens about the benefits of the industry.
- Partner with surrounding states to leverage regional know-how.
- Make policy changes that support growth in EV and advanced mobility.
Context: Hutchinson formed the group in February, a day before announcing a collaboration between several organizations dedicated to making the state a leader in "next-generation transportation."
What's next: The council officially concluded its business upon presenting the final report to the governor.
- Hutchinson said at the news conference that the work of turning the recommendations into reality falls on the next administration and the General Assembly.
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