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The Economic Development Commission was established in 1955 as the Arkansas Industrial Development Commission. Since that time, Arkansas’ economy has become more diversified, moving from being predominantly agricultural to include manufacturing, advanced manufacturing, information technology and service businesses. The mission of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission is to develop and diversify the state’s economy to enhance the quality of life for current and future Arkansans. The Department is divided into two divisions to serve external and internal customers. However, much of the agency work is done through cross-functional teams involving people from throughout the Department as well as from other state agencies and customer groups. In addition to the two divisions, the Director’s Office is responsible for overall management of the Department and provides staff support for the Arkansas Economic Development Commission. Its Organizational Development function coordinates internal training and professional development opportunities. The External Division consists of Business Development and Community Development functions. The Internal Division consists of Research and Planning, Communications and Administrative Services functions.

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