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Arkansas launching website for job-seekers, offering free job skills courses

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — In an effort to boost Arkansas' workforce, the state is launching a free service for people looking for a job.

Arkansas Ready For Life is a new website meant to be a one-stop-shop for employment in the state. The site goes live on Wednesday and Arkansans will have access to more than a thousand job openings in the state and nine thousand courses teaching essential career skills.

"I think COVID — the things that happened in that point in time — showed some weaknesses in the skills gap and essential training that we potentially need," said Rick Neal, Director for Education Transformation.

Neal said industries are struggling to find and keep employees.

"Our employers need better-prepared employees,” he said. “We feel like learning prior, instead of on-site, will help them and support them in that work."

The Ready for Life system will be working with schools, doing student success planning starting in eighth grade. And it is partnering with agencies like the Department of Corrections and businesses in several industries.

"There are a lot of job platforms and a lot of different things out there,” Neal said. “But this is an opportunity to tailor the next employee to where they really want to be.”

The courses and resume-building resources will be free to everyone.

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