Asa Hutchinson, who takes office as governor tomorrow, has named his picks to head the Labor Department
and the Department of Career Education.
Leon Jones Jr.
, a lawyer who was Hutchinson's minority outreach director in the 2014 campaign, will head the Labor Department. He succeeds Ricky Belt. Dr. Charisse Childers,
who has been executive director of Accelerate Arkansas,
will succeed Bill Walker at Career Education. She is the wife of former Republican Rep. Marvin Childers
, head of the Arkansas Poultry Federation.
The Hutchinson release:
Governor-Elect Asa Hutchinson has announced Leon Jones, Jr. as the new Director of the Arkansas Department of Labor and Dr. Charisse Childers as the new Director of the Arkansas Department of Career Education.
Governor-Elect Hutchinson issued the following statement on Leon Jones:
“Leon is not only a good friend, but he is a good leader, which is why I am pleased to announce him as the new Director of the Arkansas Department of Labor. I previously named Leon as my Policy Director, but his background and law expertise have provided him with the experience and knowledge needed to lead this department, and I am delighted that he has agreed to take on this new role. I know he will represent our state and my administration well.”
Jones, a native of Pine Bluff, began working as a stocker at a local grocery store in high school, and he held several positions in the retail and restaurant industry and taught high school prior to attending law school.
Currently Jones is in private legal practice concentrating on helping individuals and businesses. Jones also serves as a Commissioner with the Arkansas Fair Housing Commission and the Arkansas Housing Trust Fund and most recently served as a Commissioner with the Fayetteville Housing Authority.
Jones was Governor-Elect Hutchinson’s Minority Outreach Coordinator during the campaign and was named to serve as Policy Director. He is a graduate of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.
Governor-Elect Hutchinson issued the following statement on Dr. Charisse Childers:
“I am pleased to announce Dr. Charisse Childers as the new Director of the Arkansas Department of Career Education. She recognizes the critical nature career education plays in our economy, and she has the experience necessary to lead this department under my administration. I have no doubt she will serve this position well.”
Dr. Charisee Childers has served for nine years as the Executive Director of Accelerate Arkansas, an eighty member statewide group of business and education leaders dedicated to knowledge-based economic development in Arkansas. She served on the Arkansas State Police Commission for seven years and currently is the Vice Chairman of the Arkansas State Police Foundation. She has been a finalist and received two nominations as non-profit executive of the year by Arkansas Business. She is currently the Vice President of the Arkansas State Alumni Association, a member of the EAST® (Environment and Spatial Technology) Initiative Advisory Council, the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce and the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce.
Dr. Childers earned her Bachelor of Science degree in business from Arkansas State University and earned a Ph.D. in Public Policy from the University of Arkansas. She lives in Little Rock.