Paragould factory working non-stop

PARAGOULD (KAIT) No recession woes at one Region Eight factory--in Paragould, the L-A Darling plant is hard at work.

Some preliminary numbers say Greene county may have up to 13-percent unemployment.

Whether or not this is true remains to be seen.

But at least one Paragould industry is hiring big and working long hours to keep up with demand.

The company has 3 plants in Corning, Piggott and Paragould and all three are running round the clock.

Vice President for Sales, Tim Coy says all this work is a result of how corporate drives the organization.

"A clear strategy of our business. And the focus that our owners have as to how we go to market and the customers that we deal with."

Coy says they don't sell everything to everybody, they try and select the best customer for their products. L.A. Darling is part of the Berkshire Hathaway Group and by targeting who they want to manufacture for means....

"Ultimately having a great workforce to support the needs of those customers."

That workforce is hard at it, 24/7 right now. Making retail store fixtures.

Coy, "Our main products are for retail customers, retail centers. Shelving displays much like you see in the discount stores."

The ice storm created a huge backlog which means more jobs and additional employees.

Coy, "We've added over 200 employees since the beginning of the year, we are still adding employees and based on the demands we are continuing to add."

On a darker note, according to the Department of Labor figures,  Greene county has 13% unemployment. Paragould Mayor Mike Gaskill is somewhat dubious.

Gaskill, "They take those numbers from one week of the month and that was on January 12. And on the week of the Twelfth we had one of our industry have a cold week. They just shut down for a week sent 850 people home for one week and those people all filed. We became a victim of the formula."

For now and for the rest of the year company officials say Darling will be going strong, making and selling to the right companies.

Darling does not hire directly. You must go through the state employment office or one of the temp agencies here in Region 8.