During the week of December 8, Little Rock was recognized in American Theatre and Forbes.
The American Theatre article detailed the theatre’s efforts to come back after it had shuttered in April 2018. Here is a link to the story. (EDITORIAL NOTE: The Rep may have come back, but as the story points out, it is not out of the woods. It still needs great and sustained community support, not only from ticket sales but also donations.)
Also, Forbes highlighted Little Rock as one of the top cities “Where the Jobs Will Be in 2020.” One of the criteria they use the leisure and hospitality sector. While Little Rock certainly has that (and the Rep’s resurgence as well as the reimagining of the Arkansas Arts Center are two examples of that), we do not need to rest on our laurels.
Little Rock is in heady company, and high up on the list.
Many of the other cities on the list are cities to which we look for inspiration. Others are ones deemed “Hot Cities.” We certainly deserve to be on this list and should be proud of it.
Here is the top 5 (with some ties). It is based on the Net employment outlook.
1 – Chattanooga TN (34%)
2 – Columbus OH (33%)
3 – Deltona FL; Cape Coral FL (31%)
4 – Baltimore MD (29%)
5 – Little Rock AR; Charleston SC (28%)
Rounding out the Top 10 (with many ties)
6 – Winston-Salem NC; San Antonio TX; Pittsburgh PA; Madison WI (27%)
7 – Ogden UT; McAllen TX; Jacksonville FL; Greenville SC (24%)
8 – Wichita KS; Portland OR; Phoenix AZ; Omaha NE; Dallas TX; Cleveland OH; Cincinnati OH (23%)
9 – San Francisco CA; New Haven CT; Grand Rapids MI; Denver CO; Dayton OH; Charlotte NC (22%)
10 – Virginia Beach VA; San Jose CA; Salt Lake City UT; Raleigh NC; Orlando FL; Miami FL; Lakeland FL; Knoxville TN; Greensboro NC; Columbia SC; Birmingham AL; Baton Rouge LA. (21%)
We need to celebrate these achievements. But, just as other cities are doing, we need to channel President Jed Bartlett and ask “What’s next?’ and roll up our sleeves.