Posted 3/26/2012 12:00 am
Updated 11 months ago
Within the natural beauty of the triangle formed by the cities of Hot Springs, Malvern and Arkadelphia thrives a busy and diverse manufacturing economy.
Factories turn out shoes, aluminum, air conditioning equipment, lumber products and plastics; others make boats or aircraft parts and the area also produces niche products ranging from popular soft drinks to rubber bands.
Hot Springs alone has close to 5,000 manufacturing jobs, almost 1,000 of them in aircraft/aerospace. Pennsylvania-based Triumph Group has two Hot Springs operations, one that makes original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts and another which overhauls fan exchangers for 737 airliners. AAR has a major maintenance, repair and overhaul operation for regional jets at the Hot Springs Airport.
Other major manufacturers include Berry Plastics, makers of molded plastic containers and closures for the health and food industries; Lake Catherine Footwear/Munro, maker of high-end women’s shoes; Stratcor, a refiner of vanadium for the steel and aluminum industries, and Alliance Rubber.
Arkadelphia’s industry is just as varied. More than 20 percent of the workforce is employed in manufacturing that ranges from wood products (Anthony Timberlands, Antoine Hardwoods, Georgia Pacific) to Danfoss-Scroll Technologies, makers of air conditioning equipment, and Drumco, a reconditioner and recycler of drums.
Alcoa has a presence in the Clark County Industrial Park, and Alumacraft is one of Arkansas’ many builders of sport boats.
Malvern’s industrial base includes Flakeboard, producing molded medium density fiberboard (MDF); Reynolds Rolling Mill, which produces fine-gauge aluminum for aluminum foil; Pactiv, maker of packaging materials; Grapette, the popular soda, and Acme Brick, producing brick for the building industry in three separate facilities.
Malvern and Arkadelphia offer transportation advantages, with access to Interstate 30 and the Union Pacific main line. The Arkansas Midland short line rail serves industries in the Hot Springs area.
Arkadelphia's progressive community is dedicated to helping business grow. In 2007, the community passed a half-cent economic development sales tax. Arkadelphia also offers incentives to qualifying businesses that locate or expand in the area.
Clark County’s Industrial Park is located on U.S. Highway 67, approximately five miles south of Arkadelphia, and covers 313 acres. The park has 550 feet of highway frontage on U.S. Highway 67, and is less than two miles from an Interstate 30 interchange and the Union-Pacific main line.
The Arkadelphia Municipal Airport, with a new 5,000 foot runway, is only 4 minutes away. The park has a sanitary waste disposal system, a 500,000 gallon water storage tank, natural gas, and is served by a 115 kilovolt electrical transmission line.
Clark County targets include: alternative fuels – biofuels, customer development centers, distribution/logistics, green/sustainable building products, food processing, healthcare services, retail, and retirement services.Garland County has two industrial parks, located on the eastern and western sides of the city just off U.S. Highway 270, and a technology park adjacent to the Hot Springs Municipal Airport/Memorial Field. Target industries include advanced manufacturing/aviation and aerospace, technology/software development, health and wellness and historic and heritage tourism.
Malvern’s industrial park is just south of Interstate 30 and bordered by the Arkansas Midland Railroad. Its targets include wood products, packaging, metal fabrication and logistics/distribution.