Director Workforce, Education & Data Transformation, Office of Governor Asa Hutchinson
Mr. Neal recently joined Governor Asa Hutchinson’s staff as director of Workforce, Education and Data Transformation. In this new role, he will coordinate the Arkansas Ready for Life initiative, a program to connect employees and employers.
Rick previously served as Education to Employee director for the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce, where he was responsible for engaging state business and industry partners and communicating their workforce needs to education leaders in Arkansas, while creating a seamless transition between high school, post-secondary education and the workforce.
Rick has also served as superintendent of the Pea Ridge School District and has worked in public education for the past 36 years. Prior to becoming Pea Ridge School District superintendent, he served as the high school principal for seven years at Pea Ridge School District. He was also middle school principal of Berryville Middle School in the Berryville School District. He began his career as a social studies teacher and basketball coach at Siloam Springs Junior High School.
He earned a bachelor’s degree in physical education from the University of Arkansas, as well as a master’s degree and a specialist degree from the University of Arkansas. He is passionate about preparing students to enter the global workforce through the integration of technology, real-world STEM learning and linking to today’s college/career workforce.