Jobs, Jobs, Jobs in Conway, Pine Bluff and Fort Smith

Tuesday's jobs announcement at Epoxyn Products in Mountain Home was only one of several in what's turned out to be a busy week for employers looking to ramp up operations in Arkansas.

First, there's the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's report today that Hewlett-Packard, just a few months down the road from announcing 500 layoffs in Conway, is set to add 200 new employees there. Gov. Mike Beebe has an "important" economic development announcement set for 10:30 a.m., and the DG says the subject is HP.

(Update: HP announces 200 news jobs in Conway as part of its growing health care business.)

In Pine Bluff, Summit Poultry Inc., an Arkansas company made up of investors from California, has taken over the former Horizons Foods plant in Pine Bluff and is planning to have employment of nearly 200 by the end of next year. The plant already has about 100 workers, many former Horizon employees. The Horizon plant closed without warning in June, putting 200 out of work and sending city officials scrambling.

And finally, in Fort Smith, Butler and Cook, a 44-year-old oil and gas drilling components manufacturer, is investing $8 million in new equipment and plans to add 40 new workers over the next two years. A company executive tells the Times Record newspaper that the firm's goal is to become "one of the largest high-technology manufacturers in the state."

All in all, a nice trio of holiday gifts a week before Christmas.

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