The Arkansas Division of Workforce Services is a division of the Arkansas Department of Commerce. As a State Workforce Agency, DWS promotes economic growth and stability by administering federal employment programs, delivering and coordinating workforce services, and connecting Arkansas job seekers and employers to opportunities and resources.
DWS does not earn a profit and does not measure success by business growth and expansion. The agency’s success is measured by its ability to cushion the impact of economic downturns, bring economic resilience and prosperity to the state, and meet the needs of Arkansas employers and job seekers. While DWS has one administrative office in Little Rock, most services are provided through the Arkansas Workforce Centers and DWS offices strategically located throughout the state.
DWS is unique from other state agencies in that it is 99 percent federally funded. The Arkansas Legislature appropriates the agency’s funds and has the authority to pass legislation affecting agency programs and services on a state level. As a result, DWS adheres to both state and federal laws and regulations. The size of the agency’s budget and staffing levels are adapted to best meet the needs of the state and its customers while balancing the requirements of stakeholders.
To accelerate economic growth and individual prosperity in the state of Arkansas.
To support and secure Arkansas’ economic vitality through a highly skilled workforce by administering programs and providing efficient services that empower employers and job seekers.
A: Accountability – We concern ourselves with the responsibilities we have to our customers, state, agency partners, and colleagues. Accordingly, we use good judgment when making decisions, and we take ownership of our actions.
D: Discipline – We demonstrate discipline in our thoughts and actions, always striving to improve our processes and never settling for mediocrity.
A: Agility – We are flexible and embrace innovation in order to align ourselves with our ever-changing world.
P: Passion – We are dedicated to improving the well-being of our state and show pride and enthusiasm in providing quality services to our customers.
T: Teamwork – We care about each other both professionally and personally, and we are cooperative with each other and our partners, uniting to achieve a common mission.
Strategic Plan – 2018:
To send correspondence to a member of Administration below, please use the following address:
Division of Workforce Services
#2 Capitol Mall
Little Rock, AR 72201
The director is responsible for the administration of the Division of Workforce Services.
Charisse Childers, PH.D., Director
501-682-2121 | email@example.com
Jay Bassett, Deputy Director
501-682-3142 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Oversees field operations and has operational responsibility for the following DWS divisions: Information Technology, Legal, Labor Market Information, Unemployment Insurance, Financial Management, Employment Assistance, and New Hire Registry.
Courtney Traylor, Deputy Director of Internal Operations
501-682-3125 | email@example.com
Oversees the DWS divisions of Employment Assistance, Financial Management, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Unemployment Insurance, and the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). Handles agency-related communication issues and acts as the agency’s liaison on matters of state and federal government.
Eddie Thomas, Assistant Director
Employment Assistance – 501-371-1028 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Employment Assistance provides policy development and technical assistance for federally-funded employment and training programs. Many of these programs are awarded by formula under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) including Adult, Youth, and Dislocated Worker programs that fund career services, training, and supportive services to eligible participants with training that is focused on meeting the needs of local employers. Other WIOA programs administered by Employment Assistance include Employment Services authorized under the Wagner-Peyser Act, as amended, and Jobs for Veterans State Grants. Employment Assistance also administers discretionary programs that have been awarded to the state competitively. Current discretionary awards administered by this unit provide temporary employment opportunities for areas of the state impacted by natural disasters, as well as programs focused on expanding and leveraging apprenticeship opportunities. Employment Assistance also administers Foreign Labor Certification and provides staffing to the Arkansas Workforce Development Board (AWDB).
Kristen Rhodes-Berry, Assistant Director
Unemployment Insurance and New Hire Registry – 501-683-3200 | email@example.com
The Unemployment Insurance unit facilitates employer compliance with the Arkansas Employment Security Law, collects unemployment insurance contributions from employers, provides unemployment insurance benefits to those eligible, and maintains management information systems for filing unemployment insurance claims and fraud detection.
Carder Hawkins, Chief Information Officer
Information Technology – 501-683-3210 | firstname.lastname@example.org
The Chief Information Officer leads and manages all information technology services and operations at the Arkansas Division of Workforce Services. The information technology unit provides automated solutions, technical support, IT security, policy development, monitoring, and disaster recovery planning for the agency.
David Sterling, General Counsel
Legal – 501-682-3250 | David.W.Sterling@arkansas.gov
The Office of Legal Services provides advice on legal issues to the director and assistant directors, area operations chiefs, and office managers at DWS, as well as to the Arkansas Workforce Investment Board and Transitional Employment Assistance Board. The legal office prepares or reviews contracts and memorandums of understanding; represents the agency in all legal proceedings affecting the agency, including but not limited to, foreclosures, bankruptcies, and matters requiring court appearances; and handles all appeals to the Court of Appeals from the Board of Review. The office works to reduce fraud, prosecute perpetrators of fraud and affect the civil collection of all overpayments.
Brad Collins, Chairman
Board of Review – 501-683-4300 | Brad.Collins@arkansas.gov
The Board of Review is an autonomous state agency that is responsible for the operation of both higher and lower administrative appeals in unemployment compensation claims. The board is composed of a full-time chairman and two part-time members. The chairman serves as agency director. The board’s decisions affirm, reverse or modify the decisions of the lower appellate authority. The board also may remand cases for further proceedings by the tribunal or the department.
Phil Harris, Assistant Director
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Program – 501-683-5370 | email@example.com
Provides overall direction for the agency’s federally-funded TANF program operations, as well as the TANF Oversight Board activities. TANF provides policy development and technical assistance for program services: Quality Assurance and Performance to ensure quality and conformity with the TANF Program Policy; Community Investment Initiatives and Individual Development Accounts for contracting of services to low-income families served; TANF Training to all TEA and Work Pays staff for effective case management and service delivery.
Marcia Moore, Assistant Director
Dislocated Worker Services, Labor Market Information & Employer Tax Credits – 501-683-1789 | Marcia.Moore@Arkansas.gov
Dislocated Worker Services, Labor Market Information & Employer Tax Credits administers the Dislocated Worker Task Force, the Trade Adjustment Assistance program, Reemployment Services programs, Labor Market Information programs, and the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) program. Dislocated Worker Services staff provide timely services to companies and workers experiencing layoffs and closures and assist individuals in their efforts to reenter the workforce. LMI programs provide information on both short-term (2-years) and long-term (10-years) state and local industry and occupational employment projections. They produce periodic statewide economic analysis reports that are of value to state policymakers, including the governor, state legislature, and state and local workforce development boards. They also publish statistics on current employment and unemployment rates and produce employment and wage estimates annually for over 800 occupations. The WOTC program makes a federal tax credit available to employers for hiring individuals from certain target groups who have consistently faced significant barriers to employment, enabling them to move from economic dependency into self-sufficiency.