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El Dorado Wins Arkansas Business City of Distinction Awards for Workforce Development and Tourism

Posted on December 18, 2012

El Dorado has earned two City of Distinction Awards from Arkansas Business, winning for Workforce Development Under 20K and Tourism Under 20K.

Citing that "an impressive collection of civic organizations [have] pulled together to create a comprehensive list of programs designed to meet the needs of the area?s biggest employers,? Arkansas Business awarded El Dorado with top honors for Workforce Development. The programs recognized as contributing to this award include the El Dorado Public Schools, the El Dorado Promise, South Arkansas Community College (SouthArk), the South Arkansas Workforce Training and Education Consortium and the El Dorado Chamber of Commerce.

"The most important thing a community can do to ensure economic success is to invest in its human capital," said Henry Florsheim, El Dorado Chamber of Commerce president and CEO. "Our civic leaders have done an outstanding job in addressing the workforce needs of industry and providing our students the educational opportunities they deserve. It?s encouraging to see recognition of our efforts with such an award.?

Mainly due to a grassroots effort and overall rebranding El Dorado as the "Festival City? with the new "It?s Showtime!? tagline, Arkansas Business recognized El Dorado as the winner for Tourism. The efforts to become the festival destination of the region have paid off, increasing tourism, and Arkansas Business listed some of the festivals and events that attracted the judges: Main Street?s St. Patrick?s Day Celebration, The Mayhaw Festival, Bugs, Bands & Bikes Weekend, Showdown at Sunset, Musicfest El Dorado, the Southern Food & Wine Festival and the Boomtown Classic.

"Our efforts to attract visitors and tourist to El Dorado are not new,? said Mark Givens, executive director of Main Street El Dorado. "The revitalization of the Union Square District has taken place over the past 25 years. We continue to provide quality entertainment and award-winning festivals against the backdrop of a pedestrian friendly shopping environment. We have more than a dozen dining establishments and 40 retail shops and unique businesses that have all helped to make downtown El Dorado the type of place that people want to visit.?

This is El Dorado?s second year to be recognized by Arkansas Business as a City of Distinction. Last year, El Dorado won for Quality of Life and Main Street Preservation. Each year, Arkansas Business honors Arkansas cities with its City of Distinction awards. Chosen by an independent panel of judges, winning cities have demonstrated a commitment to economic development and quality of life for their citizens. The programs and initiatives they have developed and implemented are excellent examples of the success that can be achieved when community leaders work together.

The El Dorado Chamber of Commerce provides membership services, economic development, and advocacy for El Dorado and Union County in order to improve the quality of life for all its citizens.