There were plenty of reasons for applause and smiles Friday afternoon as the Nordex plant officially broke ground in Jonesboro. Nordex makes wind turbines. Company officials say geography, the workforce, and enthused state and local leaders drew them to jonesboro. With high hopes for the plants future here.
"Our hopes are to grow this much further than our current plans are so to have a capacity which may even go much beyong those 300 turbines a year," said Nordex USA President & CEO, Ralf Sigrist.
This 100 million dollar investment is expected to bring 700 new jobs to Jonesboro by 2014...and add even more diversity to the local economy. Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe says having a diverse economy can help areas better weather economic storms--by being able to provide something for everyone.
"If all your eggs are in one specific type of manufacturing or if all your eggs are just in manufacturing, or just in agriculture or just in service, then your more suceptible to the downturns and the bad times," said Arkansas Governor, Mike Beebe.
"I think this will open the doors for many more to come," said Jonesboro Mayor, Harold Perrin.
Jonesboro Mayor Harold Perrin says groundbreakings like the one today, motivates city leaders to bring even more industries and jobs to the city of Jonesboro and it's residents.
"You can't sit still on this type business. You've got to be working everyday to get a new one," said Perrin.
Despite a slower economy, nordex officials say their confident over the next couple of years, the U.S market will be back to what it was a year ago, and that now is the time to prepare for the demand ahead.
"To be able then to ship the first turbines in the second half of next year, and in 2011 to then be able to deliver wind turbines made in America and in Arkansas," said Sigrist.