East Arkansas Planning and Development District

East Arkansas Planning & Development District (EAPDD) is one of eight planning and development districts formed in the state of Arkansas. The District’s purpose is to promote and support the economic development of the region. It does this by providing technical assistance to the cities, counties, businesses, and other development organizations in the area, and by networking extensively with state and federal resource agencies. EAPDD encompasses a geography territory of 8,000 square miles, roughly the same land mass as the state of New Jersey. It serves more than 390,000 citizens from its 12 territory. These counties are linked by common economic issues and challenges including generational poverty, population loss, and poor educational attainment.
Counties Randolph | Clay | Greene | Lawrence | Craighead | Mississippi | Poinsett | Cross | Crittenden | St. Francis | Lee | Phillips

Summer 2020 Outreach Summary

The Arkansas Economic Development Institute conducted interviews and surveys to help assess the needs of Arkansas’s communities among the eight development districts during the start of the COVID-19 outbreak. This section summarizes these findings for the East Arkansas Planning and Development District.

Miscellaneous Interview Comments

In EAPDD, the following types of businesses have been affected by COVID-19:

Hotels and bed & breakfasts | Grocery store | Medical center
12.1% of EAPDD businesses that were closed summer of 2020 will likely close permanently due to COVID-19

EAPDD Advisory Committee Members

Woody Wheeless
Judge, Crittenden County

James Sanders
Mayor, City of Blytheville

Sherman Smith
Mayor, City of Earle

Cody Slater
Director of Economic Development, Wynne Economic Development Commission

Jennifer Hobbs
Mayor, City of Wynne

Regina Burkett
Community Development Director, City of Jonesboro

Mike Philpot
Vice President of Economic Development, Jonesboro Unlimited

Charles Snapp
Mayor, City of Walnut Ridge

Jimmy Williams
Mayor, City of Marianna

Clark Hall
Judge, Phillips County

Lynn Hawkins
Arkansas Rural Health

Brandt Smith
Arkansas State Representative, District 58

Blake Johnson
Arkansas State Senator, District 20

Gene Bennett
Vice President for Workforce Development, ANC Blytheville

Dave Brady
Executive Director, Workforce Investment Board of Eastern Arkansas

David Barch
Director of Membership and Certification, National Association of Workforce Development Professionals

Debra West
Chancellor, Arkansas State University Midsouth

Keith Gammil
Manager of Client Services, Arkansas Economic Development Commission

Ronnie Samuel
Rage Fabrications

Alan Risley
Plant Manager, Peco Foods

Jerry Morgan
Market President, First National Bank