Workforce Development

The Fort Smith Regional Chamber of Commerce is committed to collaborating with employers, educators, and community partners to strengthen our talent pipeline and ensure employers have a skilled, diverse workforce to support continued economic growth, personal and professional prosperity, and enhanced quality of life.

The Fort Smith Regional Chamber’s Workforce Development Goals include:

  • Work with the business community to determine current and future workforce demand.
  • Grow a skilled workforce driven by local business and industry needs.
  • Connect the dots between education, training, and what employers require.
  • Collaborate with workforce organizations, education, government agencies and others to build a strong workforce coalition.
  • Work with state agencies on initiatives that support the workforce development structure.
  • Develop a holistic approach that includes strategic initiatives and tactics.

Career Ready Fort Smith

Career Ready Fort Smith, offered through the Fort Smith Regional Chamber, is a professional resource for those located within Sebastian, Crawford, and Franklin County, AR, as well as Le Flore and Sequoyah County, OK. The Career Ready portal connects you to positions located throughout our region. If you are currently employed or relocating and looking for an opportunity, interested in returning to work, or making your first jump into a career – the Career Ready Fort Smith portal will connect you. Search here to see what great career opportunities are available in our region.

Fort Smith Regional Chamber Annual Signing Day

The Fort Smith Regional Chamber holds an annual Signing Day event on the first Friday in May to recognize high school seniors for their hard work and career preparation training that translates to jobs in the Fort Smith and River Valley region. Signing Day is patterned after ceremonies that honor high school athletes as they gather to sign letters-of-intent. The Chamber’s Annual Signing Day event is the culmination of applications, interviews and decisions made by area employers and students who are being matched for full-time employment, internships, and apprenticeships.

Fort Smith Regional Chamber Annually Recognizes National Manufacturing Day

National Manufacturing Day, set annually for the first Friday in October, is dedicated to recognizing the importance of the manufacturing industry and the technologies and highly skilled jobs included in manufacturing. The Chamber holds a First Friday Breakfast on National Manufacturing Day to highlight local manufacturers and learn more about their operations and innovations. In the week leading up to Manufacturing Day, the Chamber hosts tours at local manufacturing facilities who open their doors to the public to showcase modern manufacturing and positively shift perceptions about the industry.

Fort Smith Regional Chamber Hosts Be Pro Be Proud Draft Day, March 15th – 17th, 2023



The Fort Smith Regional Chamber partnered with Be Pro Be Proud, a workforce development initiative led by the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce and the Associated Industries of Arkansas (ASCC/AIA), to hold Draft Day 2023, the first-of its kind hiring event for high school seniors across the River Valley. During the 3-day event, almost three hundred students were interviewed for potential post-graduation job opportunities with regional employers, creating a direct pipeline for these students from high school into the skilled workforce. Students hired through the Draft Day event were recognized at the Fort Smith Regional Chamber’s Annual Signing Day.

Peak Innovation Center


Peak Innovation Center – Overview from Fort Smith Public Schools on Vimeo.


Fort Smith Public Schools Peak Innovation Center forever changes the educational and economic landscape of the River Valley region. The culmination of education, community, business, and industry efforts have forged a path towards a new educational model where students are taught by industry leaders in real-world scenarios and on up-to-date, industry-specific equipment. The Peak Innovation Center is a place where career and college-bound students and adult learners develop relevant skills and earn industry-specific certifications to create a future workforce that will drive success across the industry and beyond.

Partners in Education

Fort Smith Regional Chamber of Commerce annually hosts the Partners in Education Luncheon in coordination with Fort Smith Public Schools and the Partners in Education Board. The Chamber can support this event year after year because of the generosity of our members. To learn more about Partners in Education, click here.