Boyette has worked with Arkansas State University (ASU) in two separate projects to further its support of economic development and the business community in Northeast Arkansas.
First, ASU’s Delta Center for Economic Development (Delta Center) engaged Boyette to prepare a new Strategic Program of Work to improve the quality of education and workforce training for students and companies. The Delta Center had not evolved to adapt to its changing service model, so Boyette offered assistance using the following process to determine realistic goals for ASU:
- Boyette collected and analyzed data to assess the area’s workforce, as well as to project the center’s potential in improving economic development in the region.
- Benchmarking research and stakeholder engagement were used to compare the Delta Center to similar, successful organizations, as to enhance the Delta Center’s economic development function and organizational structure.
- Prepared a three-year plan for the Delta Center to aid ASU in revamping their organizational structure, branding, practitioner and workforce services, innovation and entrepreneurship, and regional marketing.
Boyette also performed an in-depth, researched “deep-dive” into the history of the emerging steel sector in Arkansas, and then used the research to develop a Feasibility Study that explored how the university could establish a Steel Center of Excellence on campus.
Boyette’s process for the feasibility study was conducted through two phases:
Phase I included:
- An overview of the steel sector in Arkansas, such as its growth since 1980 and its projected long-term viability in the state.
- The impact the sector has on the Arkansas economy, and opportunities for enhanced economic opportunity within the sector.
- An inventory of institutions currently involved in steel sector research and development, which explored the size and location of these programs, leadership, funding, corporate partners, etc.
Stakeholder engagement was the key component to Phase II, helping Boyette and ASU discover:
- The level of support likely to be found among key stakeholder groups.
- Specialty areas relevant to Arkansas’ steel industry base.
- Stakeholders perceptions to industry trends that would best benefit a steel center in Arkansas, as well as additional research topics.
Learn more about the Delta Center.