PRESS RELEASE: Heartland Forward Launches New Broadband Jobs Board to Boost Career & Training Opportunities in Arkansas


The innovative platform connects job seekers, employers and training providers, driving economic growth and job creation in a vital economic sector.

Bentonville, Ark. – Today at the Arkansas State Broadband Office’s Arkansas BEAD (Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment) Digital Opportunity Conference, Heartland Forward – a policy think-and-do tank dedicated to serving states and local communities in the middle of the country – unveiled its new Connecting the Heartland Broadband Jobs Board.

Funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts and in partnership with leading broadband industry employers AT&T, Cablelynx Broadband, Cox Communications and Ritter Communications, the platform transforms the job search and career development processes in Arkansas’ broadband sector. The jobs board offers a key starting point for those interested in a career in broadband by connecting job seekers, employers and training providers to upskill residents and advance careers across the heartland.

“The number one economic issue of our time is having access to affordable high-speed internet, but we need more talent in this field to connect every family,” said Ross DeVol, president and CEO of Heartland Forward. “By facilitating access to jobs and training, the Connecting the Heartland Broadband Jobs Board attracts new talent and bolsters our broadband infrastructure, ensuring continued growth and connectivity in heartland communities.”

Arkansas ranks fifth among the most promising states for job growth, recently hitting record-high jobs and declining unemployment rates. Last year, the state received $1 billion in BEAD federal funding to expand access to high-speed internet, improve affordability and enhance digital skills. As Arkansas increasingly turns to broadband to fuel its economic future, the Connecting the Heartland Broadband Jobs Board is a vital tool in fostering a more skilled workforce and driving regional economic development.

“Accelerating broadband access is a top priority for our state, and to make this a reality, we need a strong workforce with expertise in this area,” said Arkansas State Broadband Director Glen Howie. “The Connecting the Heartland Broadband Jobs Board is helping to advance this vision and will ultimately positively impact lives for the better.”

This platform aims to increase access to and awareness of broadband jobs and build a resilient broadband workforce. Through the board, job seekers can discover local employers and access information on benefits, resources and training opportunities. Employers can share open roles, with a goal of adding more as they become available, and access workforce development resources, while training providers can promote programs to expand the skilled broadband workforce in the region.

“With more than 1,200 AT&T employees who call Arkansas home, we are proud of the experience and skill our team members exhibit as they turn AT&T’s significant investments in Arkansas into modern, high-speed connections,” said Lisa Lake, vice president of external affairs for AT&T in Arkansas. “Without question highly-skilled technicians are critical to broadband networks, and we applaud the creation of the Connecting the Heartland Broadband Jobs Board to connect job seekers with career opportunities.”

“Cablelynx Broadband values hiring local folks to provide the best service in each of the communities we serve,” said Laurie Ringler, director of marketing, reporting & government affairs at Cablelynx. “We are excited to partner with the Connecting the Heartland Jobs Board to recruit qualified talent to join our team.”

“Bringing together training and job listings makes the Connecting the Heartland Broadband Jobs Board a comprehensive, one-stop-shop for building a resilient broadband workforce,” said Tina Gabbard, market vice president, Arkansas at Cox. “Cox Communications is excited to support an initiative that expands meaningful career opportunities in an industry driving the future of the American heartland.”

“The Heartland Broadband Jobs Board is positioning itself as an invaluable resource for internet service providers answering the call to expand services throughout Arkansas,” said Jane Marie Woodruff, vice president of marketing for Ritter Communications. “We deeply appreciate their devotion to ensuring that the pipeline of experts to build and maintain broadband infrastructure in our state is ongoing and that we maximize the economic opportunities that coincide with broadband access.”

The Connecting the Heartland Broadband Jobs Board is one part of Heartland Forward’s multi-state, multi-pronged Connecting the Heartland initiative. This effort seeks to boost internet availability, affordability and adoption rates for participation in online services that are key to economic opportunity. Heartland Forward’s goal is to be a resource to states and communities by emphasizing affordability and adoption alongside expanding infrastructure.

To learn more about the Connecting the Heartland Broadband Jobs Board, please visit: For more information on Heartland Forward and its work to build thriving, resilient communities across the American heartland, please visit


About Heartland Forward
Heartland Forward is a policy think-and-do tank dedicated to being a resource for states and local communities in the middle of the country. We do this by studying broad economic trends and building data-driven and community-tested partnerships, programs and policies to address the needs of the heartland – all while helping to change the narrative about the middle of the country and kick-starting economic growth.