November 1, 2021--A hot cup of coffee, a nice walk, and throwing some axes. It’s hard to call that a day at the office, but that’s what it was for 23 Jonesboro newcomers who took part in Jonesboro Unlimited’s (JU) latest Get To Know Jonesboro tour.
You can file it under workforce development.
Shelle Randall, Jonesboro Unlimited’s Director of Workforce Development & Existing Industry, came up with the idea three years ago after speaking with local plant managers. They wanted to find a way to help their newly relocated employees to get connected with Jonesboro.
“It’s tough being new in town,” says Randall, “Our local industries are constantly expanding and adding people. Several of them move to Jonesboro from other parts of the country site unseen. That can be a challenge.”
Randall’s vision is to get these Jonesboro newcomers together and give them a day on the town. As JU’s Director of Communications, Craig Rickert, likes to say, it isn’t a day of lectures and PowerPoint presentations.
Far from it.
JU takes its guests to visit places that are unique to Jonesboro. The goal is to share the local flavor of the city, keeping it fun and light-hearted. Although you do see some competitive spirits come out during stops like laser tag and ax throwing.
Throw in coffee and lunch at some great locally owned places, and you really see these newcomers start to connect with their new community.
“I’m so glad I participated in this event. As someone who moved here from a bigger city, it was nice to see Jonesboro through your eyes. Thank you for the opportunity,” said one participant.
To top off the day, JU throws a tailgate party for them and their families at an Arkansas State University football game.
“It’s a fun day for us too,” says Randall, “To hear things like ‘I had no idea this was here’ and ‘I can’t wait to explore some more’ really gets us enthused about adding these incredible and talented people to our Jonesboro family.”
JU typically hosts the class twice a year.
Once in the spring and once in the fall.
This past summer, they added a tour for engineering interns from Hytrol.
The most recent Get To Know Jonesboro class was comprised of newcomers from Nestlé, Hytrol, Post, Frito-Lay, and FMH Conveyors.