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J. Kelly RobbinsJ. Kelly Robbins
Executive Vice President
AGC Arkansas

“Like most other construction markets, one of our biggest areas of concern is related to a limited workforce,” Robbins says. “This problem is further compounded by the fact that Arkansas’ current 3.5% unemployment rate is below the current national average and is the second lowest since the unemployment rate has been calculated, going back to the 1960s. The lowest rate of 3.4% was reported earlier this year.”

This has resulted in AGC members and others in the construction community struggling to get even semi-skilled trade workers in place, Robbins says.

Meanwhile, the Arkansas Dept. of Transportation—formerly the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Dept. until its recent name change by the state Legislature—is in the process of implementing the agency’s first design-build project, which will also be the largest single project in its history, he explains.

“The 30 Crossing will redesign and rebuild the 6.7-mile Interstate 30 route through the downtown areas of Little Rock and North Little Rock and include the replacement of the I-30 bridge over the Arkansas River,” Robbins says.