In a video interview, Robert Hopkins offers his perspectives on the Federal Reserve’s outreach in Arkansas communities, as well as the economic drivers of Little Rock and the state of Arkansas.
Senior Vice President
Little Rock Branch
Welcome to the Little Rock branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, serving the western two-thirds of Arkansas
. Primarily, our staff works in community development
, economic education
and bank supervision. Also, we focus on what we call "economic information exchange." We collect information on what drives the economy in our zone and pass it on to those in our main office in St. Louis who are involved in monetary policymaking and academic research; in turn, we share economic information with the public, academics and business leaders.
We have 31 people on staff in Little Rock and are assisted in carrying out our work by a variety of others in the community, most notably our board of directors
. The seven members, who represent a wide spectrum of businesses, industries and people in Arkansas, provide the Fed with needed knowledge about the local economy and connect us with others who could benefit from Fed services.
The voice of our area is also heard at high levels through the eight other people from our zone who serve on District-wide Industry Councils
. These four councils – Agribusiness, Health Care, Real Estate and Transportation – keep Fed staff members up to date on what is happening in these industries, which are considered key to the overall District. The Agribusiness Council is based in Little Rock.
All of us are often in the community, meeting with bankers, other business executives, nonprofit community developers, teachers and many other audiences. On the web pages devoted to the Little Rock Branch, you will see information that is specific to our zone—charts that show the unemployment rate and other key indicators, narrative roundups on the economy from the St. Louis Fed's researchers and links to articles about our area that have appeared in St. Louis Fed publications. From time to time, we will post photos of our events and a bit of history on our Branch; we've been here since 1924.