In Arkansas and elsewhere, economic pain not so great

Things may be going better in central Arkansas than in other parts of the country, but that doesn't mean all is rosy.

There are cutbacks. LM Glasfiber, the Danish windmill blade manufacturer, announced last month it would lay off 150 at its plant here. Arkansas' general revenue declined in December by $20.2 million compared with the same month the previous year because of a drop in income and sales tax collections.

"There's a large emphasis on tying education, workforce education, to the needs of businesses coming to an area," Gov. Beebe says. "I don't think anything is as important as the quality of the workforce."

That's why Pulaski Technical College is conducting classes to train people to work in wind energy industries. Donny Pointer has been an account development manager at Coca-Cola for 15 years, but he's always had a second job — until now. That's why he's taking a 20-hour training course to prepare for jobs at the new Polymarin plant.

"I need some supplemental income," Pointer says.

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