JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - A Region 8 city has grown in leaps and bounds.
The members of Jonesboro Unlimited held their annual review meeting on Feb. 7 at the Cooper Alumni Center on the A-State campus.
Mark Young, who is the President of Jonesboro Unlimited, said 2018 was a great year that brought great news.
“We had over 900 jobs that were created in Craighead County,” Young said. “We are excited to announce that today as a part of Jonesboro Unlimited’s annual meeting.”
The numbers come from Jonesboro Unlimited’s Annual Inventory of new and expanded industries.
“We are excited about our businesses as they recruit new employees to come to Jonesboro,” Young said. “We have an opportunity to showcase our community.”
The numbers represent results from around 70 local companies in healthcare, manufacturing, logistics, professional services and agriculture.
Healthcare and manufacturing were the two areas that represented the largest amount of growth.
Officials said 375 jobs were added in healthcare while 323 jobs were added in manufacturing.
“Growth continues to happen,” Young said. “We are so excited about the progress that has been made. We have much more work to do. This is part of our strategic plan. We just finished the second year of our five-year strategic plan. The projects we announce and what we’ve worked on are part of that. And we’ve got exciting news in the future as well.”
The first two years of their five-year plan show an addition of 2,184 jobs.
With this total, Jonesboro Unlimited is very close to their goal of 2,500 jobs.
“We’re going to continue to recruit great businesses and industry into the community,” Young said. “We want to continue to help our existing companies continue to grow and continue to work on quality of life initiatives as well that will benefit all of our community.”
Their survey also showed how local employers reinvested back into the community.
The spending on capital investment was over $98.5 million in 2018 and over $200 million in the last two years combined.
Young said they have also participated in the Competitive Community Initiative Program through the Arkansas Economic Development Commission.
“It’s been a really good opportunity for us to do an evaluation of our economic development efforts,” Young said. “It really benefited us from the stand point of looking at what we’re doing and underscored the importance of continuing to move forward with our strategic plan and fully implementing that.”
Members of AEDC also attended the meeting to recognize Jonesboro as its newest “competitive community”.
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