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Manufacturing Helps Drive Robust Northeast Arkansas Economy

2 min read

Ideally located in the central United States, Jonesboro is proud to be home to world class industrial facilities like Post Foods, Unilever, Frito-Lay, Great Dane, Nestle Prepared Foods, Butterball, Nice-Pak Products, Nordex USA and many others. The area’s manufacturing community is a key economic driver; growth from existing industries accounts for 80 percent of all new jobs.

Jonesboro’s robust economy is extraordinary. The diversity of Jonesboro’s industrial base makes for a solid economic foundation, keeping unemployment lower than the state average and opportunities abundant. Jonesboro manufacturers make products ranging from baby wipes to conveyor systems, and everything in between. The manufacturing sector in Jonesboro continues to expand with vendors and suppliers that realize a benefit by co-locating with their customers, leading to further efficiencies and vertical integration.

Much of the strength of Jonesboro’s industrial community lies in its highly skilled workforce. Companies choose to invest in Jonesboro largely because of the availability of current talent and resources to develop specialized skills. One such resource is the Workforce Training Consortium (WTC), an employer-driven organization of industry leaders and educators created to deliver relevant, cutting-edge training like Mechatronics (advanced manufacturing), Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (food processors’ quality program), APICS Certification Prep (supply chain management) and more. The WTC is a vital component of Jonesboro’s economic development activities and has been used as a model by other communities.

Giving Jonesboro’s manufacturing community even more muscle is the dynamic, forward-looking Existing Industries Association that meets on a regular basis to network, discuss relevant topics, showcase facilities and share best practices.

Jonesboro has a rich history of manufacturers which has created the foundation for current success. Several companies celebrated significant milestones recently. Hytrol Conveyor Company celebrated its 50th anniversary and also was presented with an award from Colson Caster Corporation in honor of the two companies’ 50-year customer-vendor partnership.

Post Foods celebrated its 20th anniversary in Jonesboro by recognizing its workforce and in particular those employees still with the company who were from the original 54 hired when the facility opened. Arkansas Glass Container Corporation noted its 65th anniversary by sharing its story in several venues.

The Jonesboro community proudly joined Camfil APC in 2012 to celebrate the dedication of “The Remembering Tree,” a metal sculpture and local feature created by a Camfil welder.

No question, Jonesboro’s industry makes a positive impact on the regional economy. Our industry matters.

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