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Beebe forms cabinet to address workforce issues

By The Associated Press

This article was published September 7, 2007 at 7:24 p.m.

Gov. Mike Beebe said he's created a group to address issues facing Arkansas' workforce, such as aging workers and an increasing number of low-income families struggling to make ends meet.

The workforce cabinet is composed of department heads and state workers, Beebe said in his weekly radio address released Friday.

"Their goal is to create a workforce that will help us continue to attract high-quality jobs to Arkansas and improve the lives of our working families," Beebe said.

Questions over Arkansas' workforce - particularly workers in the Mississippi Delta - arose after Toyota Motor Corp. twice rejected eastern Arkansas for an auto plant. Beebe has defended the Delta's workers, but said the workforce needs more training and education.

"We can no longer be satisfied with business as usual, we must be innovative and we must challenge the status quo," Beebe said. "Until we do this we will not be able find the solutions that work best for our working families and our business community. It will require a change in philosophy, and that must begin at the very core of our efforts."

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