Known as a family fun destination, Little Rock offers a variety of attractions for visitors including river trails, museum visits, bike tours, and other green outdoor activities. While the city’s economy continues to develop and expand, they have been getting attention from individuals who are looking for education and career opportunities.
With a population of almost two hundred thousand, Little Rock the capital of Arkansas is considered as the state’s most populous city. The name is derived from a French words “Le Petit Rocher”, which literally means “the little rock”. This small rock formation is used by early travelers as landmark and became a well-known river crossing. The city was referred by the former US President Bill Clinton as his home where his family resides during his service as a governor of Arkansas.
Due to the abundance of green public places and parks, the city is known as the capital of Natural State. Being a beautiful natural city, Little Rock has been recognized as one of the top 10 places to live in the US. Other recognitions include:
• #1 in Kipler’s 10 Great Places to Live (small to mid-sized city)
• Editor’s Choice Award as a great US City for a healthy lifestyle(Outside Magazine)
• #2 Least Toxic City(Forbes Magazine)
• #7 Best Value City (Kiplinger)
Cost of Living in Little Rock
While the cost of living in Little Rock is 10% higher than the rest of Arkansas, it is 5% lower than the national average. It is also among the nation’s top 10 in housing and jobs, giving people the opportunity to improve their living conditions, including those who live and work remotely in their home. Compared to Dallas, Little Rock’s cost of living is cheaper. It is known as one of the nation’s most affordable cities to live in terms of health, transportation, housing and other services.
• Housing- the average price of housing in the city is 6% lower than the national average. The average home prices starts at $175, 000 and rental two bedroom apartments start at $600
• Transportation- the average cost of transportation is two percent below the national average. You can buy a monthly pass for transportations that runs in the downtown area at $36.
• Utilities- the average cost of utilities is 7% higher that the neighboring cities but has cheaper cost in groceries.
• Healthcare- the city is known to significantly lower healthcare cost than other cities.
Top Industries in Little Rock
A number of industries made Little Rock’s economy recognized nationwide. The development in manufacturing, banking and finance, aerospace, and medicine made a huge impact to the city’s economic growth. Aerospace. Little Rock has more than 20 aerospace-related companies where around 9000 people are employed. These companies’ huge amount of products made aerospace the state’s value-added export.
The city’s top employers also include advanced manufacturing companies considering their targeted workforce development is from their community colleges and universities.
Banking and Finance
Simmons Bank is one of the largest financial companies in Arkansas headquartered in Little Rock. This company offers a variety of services including commercial loans, investment management services and more. They are also one of the first companies in the United States to offer a credit card.
A number of multi-national and national businesses and organizations also headquarter in the city. Some of these businesses include:
• Dillard’s, an American department store chain with 330 stores nationwide
• McLarty Company with 11 automotive dealerships in 5 states, and more
• Acxiom, a marketing technology and services company
• EAST Initiative, a non-profit organization that trains and oversees for a school program
• Windstream Communications, a telecommunications service company
• Rhea Lana's Inc., a clothing and children’s event company
• Stephens Inc., a financial investment company
Medical - Little Rock’s medical advancement also added a great contribution to the city’s business community.
• Baptist Health- this healthcare company has been delivering high quality medical services for more than 80 years
• CHI St. Vincent Health System- this is the city’s first hospital that features a number of point of access throughout Arkansas
• Arkansas Children’s Hospital- this is one of the largest pediatric hospital in the US and the first pediatric medical center in Arkansas
• Arkansas Heart Hospital- this is one of the specialty hospitals to receive NRC Picker Path to Excellence top five rankings in 2 categories
• University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences- this is the only academic medical center in the state of Arkansas. They hold the record for the only medical facility in the world to have treated the highest number of myeloma cancer patients.
• Acxiom- known as the developer of some of the world’s most sophisticated and largest marketing databases and business intelligence.
• HP- with 1,200 highly-skilled employees, this business is known as one of the largest IT companies in the world.
Top Employers in Little Rock
From government, education, medical services to cosmetics and food products, Little Rock offers a variety of career opportunity to the community. State government is considered the city’s largest employer. Their list of top employers includes the state, local and federal government with almost 70,000 employees in total. This also includes hospitals, schools and transportations.
List of Little Rock’s Top Employers
• University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences- education
• Baptist Health- medical
• Arkansas Children's Hospital – medical
• Entergy Arkansas- Utility
• Central Arkansas Veterans Health Care System- medical
• AT&T- utility
• Verizon Wireless - utility
• Dassault Falcon Jet Corp.- Falcon Aircraft Models
• Pulaski County Special School District- education
Foreign Investments in Little Rock
With 4 major foreign advanced manufacturer locations, Little Rock is recognized as one of the “Top Ten Smaller Markets in the South for Foreign Investment”. Their list of major foreign manufacturers includes:
• Dassault Falcon(France)- an aviation company
• L’Oreal USA Products, Inc.(France)- a globally-known cosmetics company
• Saint-Gobain(France)-one of the world’s largest building material company
• LM Wind Power(Denmark)- one of the world’s leading suppliers of blades for wind turbines
• Welspun(India)- an international textile company
University of Arkansas--Little Rock
Established in 1927, this metropolitan research university offers a variety of doctorate, master, graduate and undergraduate degrees to students. They offer both online and traditional courses. They also provide on-campus living option for students. The UALR also offers a variety of sports including basketball, baseball, volleyball, soccer, golf, and more. Their popular majors include law enforcement, psychology, biomedical science, marketing, business management, and more. For the academic year 2015-2016, the school’s total of enrollees is 11,891. It’s in-state tuition and fees are $8,165 while the out-of-state tuition and fees are $19,235. This school is located at 2801 S University Ave, Little Rock, AR 72204, USA.
Arkansas Baptist College
Founded in 1884, this campus’ main building is one of the oldest surviving academic buildings in the State of Arkansas. The list of courses they offer includes agricultural study, biological sciences, biotechnology, computer science, civil engineering, criminology, elementary education, engineering management, finance, general science, logistics, law enforcement, horticulture, general studies, world languages and culture, special education, mechanical engineering, mass communications, marine science, international business, international studies, and many more. The school has total alumni of more than 81,000 and a first-year retention rate of 74.9%. The school is located at 1621 Dr Martin Luther King Dr, Little Rock, AR 72202, United States.
Philander Smith College
Founded in 1877, this private, four year undergraduate liberal arts institution is located in Central Little Rock. They offer 14 majors including political science and government, biological sciences, sociology, mathematics, English language and literature, computer science, social work, and health and physical education. The school’s undergraduate acceptance rate is 68% with 732 total enrolled students in 2016. The school’s location is at 900 W Daisy L Gatson Bates Dr, Little Rock, AR 72202, USA.
Pulaski Technical College
The school’s classes and programs are designed to fit their student’s needs. They offer a variety of schedule to fit the student’s busy schedule. Their list of programs offered include associate of science in liberal arts and sciences, associate of applied science in allied health, education, general studies, accounting technical certificate, pre-health care studies, culinary arts, basic pastry, hospitality management, tourism, applied programming, welding technology, and many more.
They also offer a variety of online courses for their student’s convenience. The school is located at 3000 W Scenic Dr, North Little Rock, AR 72118, USA
Must-Visit Places in Little Rock
There are lots of exciting places to go in Little Rock if you need to unwind and relax after classes. You can take a visit in their museums to learn about the city’s history. You could also visit their historical sites, markets and more. Some of the state’s cultural sites are located in Little Rock. This includes
• Arkansas Arboretum- a trail with flora and tree plantings
• Ballet Arkansas- the state’s only professional ballet company
• Community Theatre of Little Rock- the oldest performance art company in the city
• Wildwood Park for the Arts- a park that features seasonal festivals and cultural events
You might also want to visit these places:
William J Clinton Presidential Library and Museum
Little Rock is a well-known location of William J Clinton Presidential Library and Museum. Located in the city’s downtown, this impressive facility features a variety of items from Clinton’s presidency. With a seating capacity of 31,075, this museum created a huge impact on the city’s economy since a variety of new businesses began to develop when the facility was built. These businesses include hotels, apartment buildings, retail stores, etc.
Arkansas’ War Memorial Stadium
The city is also a known location for the state’s multipurpose stadium. Aside from athletics, this stadium is also used for different purposes including assemblies, concerts, and other types of events. Some of the memorable events held in this stadium include The Eagles and ‘N Sync’s concerts.
River Market District
Serves as an unofficial cultural center in Little Rock, The River Market District is one of the best places to go if you are looking for an entertainment. They offer a wide variety of local music and live entertainment from different types of music genres. They also have pubs and bars that provide lively and high energy entertainment. Their market hall is also a home of souvenir stores, museums and art galleries where tourists and even local people love to visit. You can also shop a variety of vegetables and fresh fruits, and dine at a variety of restaurants.
Arkansas State Capitol
Constructed between 1899 and 1915, the Arkansas State Capitol serves as the main house of Arkansas’ government. This state of the art facility’s grounds has memorials and paintings that represent the state’s history and present. When you visit the Capitol, you’ll discover the state’s beautiful history and you can also watch legislators working in session.
Old State House Museum
Located in 300 W Markham St, Little Rock, visitors usually spend 2.5 hours in this museum. Built in 1833, the Old City Museum served as the Arkansas’ original state capitol. The museum held the offices of a number of statewide patriotic organizations. From the past up to the present, the Old House still play an important role in preserving, celebrating and sharing the state’s rich history and its people. The museum offers a variety of options for visitors to experience the history of Arkansas. All ages and groups are welcome. Tours usually last for about 50 minutes and they provide highly trained tour guides in every group.
While attending college in Little Rock, you will also have the opportunity to learn more about the city and enjoy the fun and entertainment the city offers. You will also have fun to experience the city’s year round activities including the Riverfest on January, Boo at The Zoo on holloween, The Big Jingle Jubilee Holiday Parade, The Arkansas Cornbread Festival, The International Greek Food Festival, and many more.
Resources in Little Rock, AR