Conveyor manufacturer Hytrol on Thursday announced that it's hiring 100 new employees in west Arkansas to support production of a new product.
The new product is derived from Hytrol's line of 24-volt conveyors, the company said in a news release. Production could begin as early as this month at the company's 300,000-SF, $20 million parcel product facility in Fort Smith, which opened earlier this year and was announced in January. Initially, the plant was expected to create 250 jobs by the end of the year.
“We designed this new facility with future expansion and capacity in mind,” Phillip Poston, Hytrol's director of Fort Smith operations, said in the release. “The success of the parcel project gave our leaders the confidence to move forward with this new product line in Fort Smith.”
Hytrol CEO David Peacock hinted at a Fort Smith expansion last month, when he told Arkansas Business the company was exploring that possibility amid all-time high demand for capacity. Company executives have attributed the increased demand for parcel products to a surge in online and home delivery retail shopping, a trend further exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 100 new positions are expected to be filled by the end of the year.
The company will add jobs in Jonesboro as well, where it has two facilities employing more than 1,200 total workers.
The Fort Smith and Jonesboro sites have a mutually supportive arrangement, as moving the parcel operation to Fort Smith from Jonesboro allowed the Jonesboro site to focus on traditional channels and traditional partners, according to Peacock.