Wooldridge shares ADFA role in raising standard of living in AR
“Tim Wooldridge needs no introduction”, Brigitte McDonald, Chamber President told members at the first 2019 Chamber luncheon at El Acapulco on Tuesday as she introduced him as the featured speaker.
Many Arkansans are familiar with his work during his 16 years of service in the Arkansas House and Senate. Wooldridge is currently the Director of Outreach for the Arkansas Development Finance Authority, also known as ADFA. He explained that Development Finance Authority is one of the best kept secrets in much of Arkansas as they go about raising the standard of living for Arkansans. Their work focuses on direct in-kind assistance, entrepreneurial job creation, improved economic policy, enhanced access to higher education funding, and responsible public finance.
“In all my years I don’t think I’ve ever thought of an agency that had greater potential support for our state than the Arkansas Development Finance Authority,” Wooldridge explained. “It is the successor agency of the Arkansas Housing Development group that was started in 1985. The role of it was expanded a few years later in that it’s the agency that in essence is a billion dollar entity that in essence is the state bank. It is that entity that has that ability to issue bonds, borrow money, and build things.”
The Arkansas Development Finance Authority doesn’t receive any state General Revenue. The entity was started with the idea of building, promoting economic development, agricultural enterprises, and housing. Wooldridge shared that it has done that similarly to a bank. “It is the only entity that I know of that doesn’t receive General Revenue and is in essence run by a board of director, a board of trustees, much like a bank. And our director is called the President. When the folks on the floor above us, AEDC, comes up with something that has the makings of additional jobs for the state or something to that affect, they come to ADFA.”
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