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Old 01-30-2009, 11:11 AM
 
8 posts, read 26,297 times
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Default Fort Smith makes undesirable list

In Pictures: America's Best- And Worst-Educated Cities - Forbes.com
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Old 01-30-2009, 11:40 AM
 
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That's sad. And it is one of the (several) reasons that the city has so few cultural opportunities.
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Old 01-30-2009, 01:12 PM
 
157 posts, read 312,325 times
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Originally Posted by shula View Post
I get tired of people telling us Ft. Smith does not have the high tech jobs because of the lack of education in the area. The fact is, bring the jobs and the workers will soon follow. I am sure, that workers would much rather live in Ft. Smith, AR. than in places like houston or Detroit!
You've got the order reversed. It goes something like this: bring education (esp math and science), and the high tech jobs will follow.

I hate to go on what will probably a less-than-well-received rant, but....Do you really think a high tech company would come to a place like Fort Smith? The progressive minds who reshape the way people interact with technology and the world would want to go to Fort Smith? To a place where a sizable chunk of the population thinks that evolution is a lie by leftist scientists? Not a chance. Let's step out of silly season.

The most educated cities in the state--Fayetteville and Little Rock--would have a very difficult time getting a high tech company.

And you think that people would rather live in a place like Fort Smith than in Houston, Texas? Really, you need to step out beyond the borders of Arkansas--and I'm not talking Oklahoma. Maybe take a stroll around the homes of high tech companies: the San Francisco Bay area, Dallas, Austin, Boston, New York City, Portland.

Then ask: what makes these places different from Fort Smith?
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Old 01-30-2009, 01:45 PM
 
Location: The Rock!
2,372 posts, read 4,906,342 times
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Originally Posted by ridicter View Post
You've got the order reversed. It goes something like this: bring education (esp math and science), and the high tech jobs will follow.

I hate to go on what will probably a less-than-well-received rant, but....Do you really think a high tech company would come to a place like Fort Smith? The progressive minds who reshape the way people interact with technology and the world would want to go to Fort Smith? To a place where a sizable chunk of the population thinks that evolution is a lie by leftist scientists? Not a chance. Let's step out of silly season.

The most educated cities in the state--Fayetteville and Little Rock--would have a very difficult time getting a high tech company.

And you think that people would rather live in a place like Fort Smith than in Houston, Texas? Really, you need to step out beyond the borders of Arkansas--and I'm not talking Oklahoma. Maybe take a stroll around the homes of high tech companies: the San Francisco Bay area, Dallas, Austin, Boston, New York City, Portland.

Then ask: what makes these places different from Fort Smith?
Neither order is truly fool proof. However, if you have a local college pumping out highly qualified grads, yes, your chances of getting some high tech business is much much higher. However, you could merely keep perpetuating the brain drain that Arkansas has seen for many many years. One estimate I read (I can probably dig up the source if needed) stated we would need 10 years at current baccalaureate graduation rates to meet current national average of population with at least a 4 year degree assuming all stay within the state. That's a pretty long time! But it begs the question, if we are graduating kids a rate that would even enable us to catch up, why have we lagged behind so much? Because there are no jobs for many of these kids after college excepting underemployment. We are at a cross roads. We are educating enough kids, now we have to keep them in our own borders. Sometimes I feel like Arkansas is merely just an extension of Texas with the number of college grads we lose to them!

The simple fact is that we are not going to get many high tech companies to relocate to anywhere in Arkansas, even Fayetteville or Little Rock regardless of the graduation rates of our colleges. We are going to have to rely on our home grown talent who wish to stay here to develop the means to start high tech businesses. There a lots of people already working on that but we need more because of the mortality of rate of many of these startups. It would be nice if the governor would reappropriate some of his Quick Action Closing Fund to make endowments to tech startups.
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Old 01-30-2009, 02:02 PM
 
28,005 posts, read 10,391,663 times
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Originally Posted by Stormcrow73 View Post
Neither order is truly fool proof. However, if you have a local college pumping out highly qualified grads, yes, your chances of getting some high tech business is much much higher. However, you could merely keep perpetuating the brain drain that Arkansas has seen for many many years. One estimate I read (I can probably dig up the source if needed) stated we would need 10 years at current baccalaureate graduation rates to meet current national average of population with at least a 4 year degree assuming all stay within the state. That's a pretty long time! But it begs the question, if we are graduating kids a rate that would even enable us to catch up, why have we lagged behind so much? Because there are no jobs for many of these kids after college excepting underemployment. We are at a cross roads. We are educating enough kids, now we have to keep them in our own borders. Sometimes I feel like Arkansas is merely just an extension of Texas with the number of college grads we lose to them!

The simple fact is that we are not going to get many high tech companies to relocate to anywhere in Arkansas, even Fayetteville or Little Rock regardless of the graduation rates of our colleges. We are going to have to rely on our home grown talent who wish to stay here to develop the means to start high tech businesses. There a lots of people already working on that but we need more because of the mortality of rate of many of these startups. It would be nice if the governor would reappropriate some of his Quick Action Closing Fund to make endowments to tech startups.
This is exactly right! Stormcrow, I tried to rep you, but it wouldn't let me.

Education is a foundation. And Arkansas needs to strenthen and expand that foundation. But the Forbes article ignores the fact that no matter how strong and how widely established that foundation is, that economic growth tends to cluster. It builds upon itself. High-tech businesses are going to go where there are other high-tech businesses. So Arkansas needs to do more than just develop better educational resources. It needs to develop a coherent entrepreneurial development program, not just for high-tech businesses, but for a diverse range of businesses. And the program needs to go beyond funding, it needs to give support to start-ups in how to develop a business plan, different ways to market products, cooperatives designed to share resources and keep overheads down. A good idea needs to be underwritten by good business practices.
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Old 01-30-2009, 02:07 PM
 
157 posts, read 312,325 times
Reputation: 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stormcrow73 View Post
Neither order is truly fool proof. However, if you have a local college pumping out highly qualified grads, yes, your chances of getting some high tech business is much much higher. However, you could merely keep perpetuating the brain drain that Arkansas has seen for many many years. One estimate I read (I can probably dig up the source if needed) stated we would need 10 years at current baccalaureate graduation rates to meet current national average of population with at least a 4 year degree assuming all stay within the state. That's a pretty long time! But it begs the question, if we are graduating kids a rate that would even enable us to catch up, why have we lagged behind so much? Because there are no jobs for many of these kids after college excepting underemployment. We are at a cross roads. We are educating enough kids, now we have to keep them in our own borders. Sometimes I feel like Arkansas is merely just an extension of Texas with the number of college grads we lose to them!

The simple fact is that we are not going to get many high tech companies to relocate to anywhere in Arkansas, even Fayetteville or Little Rock regardless of the graduation rates of our colleges. We are going to have to rely on our home grown talent who wish to stay here to develop the means to start high tech businesses. There a lots of people already working on that but we need more because of the mortality of rate of many of these startups. It would be nice if the governor would reappropriate some of his Quick Action Closing Fund to make endowments to tech startups.
Good points.

I think Arkansas needs to be helluva lot more aggressive in retaining its talent--maybe with the Quick Action Closing Fund like you mentioned. More specifically, Arkansas could be more aggressive with targeting students at schools that perennially produce the greatest talent: in Little Rock, Fayetteville, and elsewhere.

At any rate though, I think Arkansas simply needs more colleges in the top tier--it doesn't have one in the top 100. Hendrix is a top tier liberal arts colleges, but it's not a university.
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Old 01-30-2009, 02:18 PM
 
Location: The Rock!
2,372 posts, read 4,906,342 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DC at the Ridge View Post
This is exactly right! Stormcrow, I tried to rep you, but it wouldn't let me.

Education is a foundation. And Arkansas needs to strenthen and expand that foundation. But the Forbes article ignores the fact that no matter how strong and how widely established that foundation is, that economic growth tends to cluster. It builds upon itself. High-tech businesses are going to go where there are other high-tech businesses. So Arkansas needs to do more than just develop better educational resources. It needs to develop a coherent entrepreneurial development program, not just for high-tech businesses, but for a diverse range of businesses. And the program needs to go beyond funding, it needs to give support to start-ups in how to develop a business plan, different ways to market products, cooperatives designed to share resources and keep overheads down. A good idea needs to be underwritten by good business practices.
We actually do have some support structure in place, not enough I'm sure but some is there: Arkansas Science & Technology Authority (http://www.asta.arkansas.gov/index.html - broken link) One fantastic thing ASTA does is match all government funds for technology development programs. A couple of small businesses in Fayetteville take advantage of this a lot because they are adept at winning SBIR money. One of them recently was awarded a contract to supply a board for the ISS. It's a small start but could lead to much bigger things.

For other small business concerns, I've seen lectures and classes offered on how to write and prepare business plans but could not testify as to the quality thereof. However, as you point out, there is much more to puzzle than a business plan and the greatest business plan doesn't guarantee execution!
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Old 01-30-2009, 02:27 PM
 
Location: The Rock!
2,372 posts, read 4,906,342 times
Reputation: 733
Quote:
Originally Posted by ridicter View Post
Good points.

I think Arkansas needs to be helluva lot more aggressive in retaining its talent--maybe with the Quick Action Closing Fund like you mentioned. More specifically, Arkansas could be more aggressive with targeting students at schools that perennially produce the greatest talent: in Little Rock, Fayetteville, and elsewhere.

At any rate though, I think Arkansas simply needs more colleges in the top tier--it doesn't have one in the top 100. Hendrix is a top tier liberal arts colleges, but it's not a university.
This would certainly help the state's image. However, we must be aware that many of these rankings are bought and sold. Some may have some merit behind them but it's tough to ferret that out. Some of the rankings that publish their criteria seem to be pretty arbitrary with little to no bearing on the actual quality of education received: total endowments, number of tenured professors (which might even be an indication of LACK of quality LOL), and in some cases level of technology available to students. I don't recall seeing one lately that takes into account average income of graduates 10 years after graduation or number of graduates who reach management levels or any other indicator of the ACTUAL performance of individuals post grad.

FYI If you want to count individual colleges at the University, then we do in fact have at least one in the 100: the Sam Walton College of Business has been rated in the top 100 on some lists for quite a number of years. Due in large part to....the number of high tech gadgets donated by various vendors who undoubtedly wanted to get in Wal-Mart's good graces...
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Old 01-30-2009, 02:44 PM
 
157 posts, read 312,325 times
Reputation: 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stormcrow73 View Post
This would certainly help the state's image. However, we must be aware that many of these rankings are bought and sold. Some may have some merit behind them but it's tough to ferret that out. Some of the rankings that publish their criteria seem to be pretty arbitrary with little to no bearing on the actual quality of education received: total endowments, number of tenured professors (which might even be an indication of LACK of quality LOL), and in some cases level of technology available to students. I don't recall seeing one lately that takes into account average income of graduates 10 years after graduation or number of graduates who reach management levels or any other indicator of the ACTUAL performance of individuals post grad.

FYI If you want to count individual colleges at the University, then we do in fact have at least one in the 100: the Sam Walton College of Business has been rated in the top 100 on some lists for quite a number of years. Due in large part to....the number of high tech gadgets donated by various vendors who undoubtedly wanted to get in Wal-Mart's good graces...
Walton business school is definitely a top tier business school.

I don't think ranking by salary is a good measure for universities, but I do think it is for business schools. Universities encompass too many fields--liberal arts, science, mathematics--that simply can't be standardized onto one scale with the salaries of business and medical grads. Most of those scientists who toil away in the labs pushing the boundaries of science make far less than your average doctor, executive, or mega-church pastor.

Businessweek's rankings (for business schools) does take into account factors such as salary. I think business school rankings should take that into account.

You can see the criteria of most widely used University ranking system, US News and World Reports, here: How We Calculate the Rankings - US News and World Report.

Student selectivity is key. And like it or not, in general, standardized scores are a reflection of a student's ability. Obviously, schooling, studying, and self-drive are key factors as well. And clearly, there are so many people who are successful and brilliant who don't go to a top college. But just statistically speaking, if the average IQ is higher at a University is higher--or the bell curve is shifted to the right--then you are more likely to get some of those people who are technology entrepreneurs. Again, generally speaking.
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Old 01-30-2009, 02:56 PM
 
Location: The Rock!
2,372 posts, read 4,906,342 times
Reputation: 733
Quote:
Originally Posted by ridicter View Post
Walton business school is definitely a top tier business school.

I don't think ranking by salary is a good measure for universities, but I do think it is for business schools. Universities encompass too many fields--liberal arts, science, mathematics--that simply can't be standardized onto one scale with the salaries of business and medical grads. Most of those scientists who toil away in the labs pushing the boundaries of science make far less than your average doctor, executive, or mega-church pastor.

Businessweek's rankings (for business schools) does take into account factors such as salary. I think business school rankings should take that into account.

You can see the criteria of most widely used University ranking system, US News and World Reports, here: How We Calculate the Rankings - US News and World Report.

Student selectivity is key. And like it or not, in general, standardized scores are a reflection of a student's ability. Obviously, schooling, studying, and self-drive are key factors as well. And clearly, there are so many people who are successful and brilliant who don't go to a top college. But just statistically speaking, if the average IQ is higher at a University is higher--or the bell curve is shifted to the right--then you are more likely to get some of those people who are technology entrepreneurs. Again, generally speaking.

Extremely valuable points, to a one.

A key takeaway I see here is that bringing more and more of our community colleges up to a 4-year status, as has been done with UAFS, could serve to take some of the pressure off of schools like UA and UALR and hopefully in time ASU to accept more or less anyone with a pulse. Also the current movement to extract UALR from the UA system can only be a good thing. There are some very good professors there in the Applied Sciences department who I think can work some magic if given the opportunity. And a sad fact has been that UALR has been kept under the thumb of UAF in this regard. After all, UAF is the flagship in Engineering, Liberal Arts, Sciences and Business. For many, it would be unthinkable to allow UALR to outshine UAF in any of those areas.
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