American Marksman Arkansas LLC, an ammunition distributor, announced Thursday that it will expand in Searcy and create up to 100 new advanced manufacturing positions.
Hiring is already underway, and the company expects to spend more than $2 million in payroll over the next five years.
American Marksman already had an office in Searcy, but did not have a production facility, acccording to Buck Layne, president of the Searcy Regional Chamber of Commerce and a representative of the Searcy Regional Economic Development Corp.
Layne said the company is leasing a 62,500-SF building on 7.1 acres at 1701 S. Benton Street, property previously occupied by ElectroCraft Arkansas Inc.
American Marksman is moving equipment in, but the building didn't require any major renovations, and Layne expects production to begin in 30-60 days.
Layne told Arkansas Business that his organization had been working with the company for about five months to prepare the building by making minor improvements, such as updating the HVAC system.
"We at American Marksman are proud and honored to be part of our nation's military support structure and bring our operations to Searcy," CEO Thomas A. K. Schmidt said in a news release. "We would like to thank Gov. Asa Hutchinson, his staff, the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, Searcy Regional Economic Development Corporation, Searcy Regional Chamber of Commerce and the city of Searcy for all their hard work and support of this project."
Schmidt said the Searcy expansion is a part of the company's efforts to create local jobs throughout the United States.
"Our manufacturing facility in Arkansas is a development milestone for our efforts to have significant financial impact on the local communities we serve," he said.
Arkansas Business has called a representative of the company and will update this story.
The company will qualify for two incentives through the AEDC once the city council passes a resolution. Those are Advantage Arkansas, which provides an income tax credit based on payroll of new jobs, and Tax Back, which provides sales tax refunds on building materials, taxable machinery and equipment associated with the project.
"There has been a great deal of momentum in the ammunitions and firearms industry over the past several months, and I am excited to watch businesses such as American Marksman grow and prosper here," AEDC Director Mike Preston said in a news release.
Gamo Outdoor USA and Daisy Outdoor Products announced in January its plans to expand the Daisy plant in Rogers and create 25 full-time jobs over the next two years.
SIG Sauer Inc. of Newington, New Hampshire, opened its first permanent site in Jacksonville a few months ago, Mayor Gary Fletcher told Arkansas Business. An official grand opening/ribbon cutting ceremony has not been held yet.
SIG Sauer plans create at least 150 jobs, Fletcher said, and recently won a contract with the U.S. Army. He hopes the company will continue expanding Jacksonville.
Preston said the state's skilled workforce is one of the reasons why companies like American Marksman choose to locate and expand in Arkansas.
Layne said, "Any time you add jobs to your community, that's a positive. And these are going to be good-paying jobs with good benefits. We're excited about them coming to our community ... Economic development is really about making a difference in people's lives and trying to improve the quality of life for people."