Message from Executive Director

by Jim Youngquist

Welcome to the Arkansas Economic Development Institute (AEDI) website.

It has been my honor to serve as the Institute’s director for 8 ½ years. Our Institute was created in 1955 as the vision of the University of Arkansas Board of Trustees and President. The 62-year old research, technical assistance, and training Institute has provided its expertise and support throughout the State of Arkansas to enhance its economic development and improve its quality of life.

The Arkansas Legislature showed its approval to the University of Arkansas in creating our Institute by appropriating and allocation specific financial funding to the University for the Institute to provide our specific services throughout the state. In those 62 years, we have served every county, urban, rural, and suburban in the state.

With the beginning of FY 2018 (July 1, 2017) we begin a new era at the Institute with our new name that truly reflects our mission and our need to support economic development in our state. We are re-tooling AEDI to take on a more proactive and thought-provoking focus, to push the envelope if you will, to push Arkansas to be the best it can be. We will disseminate constantly through social media, hard-copy reports, and this website, data, information, and most important analysis of what all the data and information we generate means to Arkansas, its communities, and organizations. We will ramp up our work with communities all over the state through strategic assessment to make those communities the very best they can be.

It is our goal to be the most relevant, helpful, supportive research and technical assistance outreach unit for the public and policy decision makers across the state as well as the general citizenry. It is our hope that whenever and wherever in our state there is an opportunity, issue, or challenge that is exists where we can help through our expertise, that we will automatically be thought of as a resource to call on.

Please call on us whenever we can be of assistance to you. We are here to serve. We are your Arkansas Economic Development Institute.