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Legacy Home > Directors > Biographies

William Gaddy

William "Bill" Gaddy was Arkansas' 16th Director of Employment Security Division. He was appointed by Governor Bill Clinton, after his re-election to office following a surprise loss to Republican Frank K. White. Mr. Gaddy was appointed February 14, 1983, and served through March 25, 1994. He served under both Governor Clinton, and his successor Jim Guy Tucker.

It was in 1983, during Gaddy's tenure that the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act (CETA) program was replaced with the Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA). The Employment Security Department continued to administer the program until July 2000 when the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) replaced the JTPA. Dewey D. Stiles was director of the Department of Labor at this time.

In 1991, a historical change took place when Act 100 removed the Employment Security Division from the umbrella of the State Department of Labor, creating what would be known for the next decade as the Employment Security Department. Ron Salkeld was Director of the Department of Labor at this time.

Gaddy was the second longest-serving director in the history of the Agency; his service totaled eleven years and one month-nine years under the Clinton administration; two years during Jim Guy Tucker's tenure as acting governor; and six months after Tucker was elected governor in 1994.

Governor William "Bill" Jefferson Clinton was elected Governor of Arkansas in 1978, making him the youngest governor in the country at age thirty-two. His priorities and his greatest successes were educational reform - moving Arkansas' education system from one of the worst to one of the best in many areas; recruitment of jobs, and economic growth for the people of Arkansas, healthcare reform within the state, and improving Arkansas's infrastructure.

Governor Clinton lost his re-election bid in 1981 to Republican businessman Frank White. Most political historians point to his unpopular car taxes, and his decision to retain Cuban refugees in northwest Arkansas' Fort Chaffee, as his Achilles heel. Clinton often joked that he was the youngest ex-governor in the nation's history.

After being re-elected in 1982, Mr. Clinton continued to work to transform Arkansas' economy, and the state's educational system. He became a leading figure among the New Democrats - an offshoot of the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC), a branch of the Democratic Party that called for welfare reform and smaller government. He served as Chair of the National Governors Association from 1986 to 1987, bringing him to an audience beyond Arkansas. In 1993, Governor Bill Clinton was sworn in as the first and only Arkansan to serve as President of the United States.