Over 200 jobs coming to Region 8 - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Over 200 jobs coming to Region 8

By Brandi Hodges - bio | email

MARKED TREE, AR (KAIT) – A major announcement in Marked Tree means new life for a shuttered Region eight factory and hundreds of new jobs! 

"This is just a day that is unreal for Marked Tree and we worked for it but we are so happy," said Marked Tree Mayor Dixon Chandler.

"It all started because of a vision of a mayor operation of the federal government and your state government believing that jobs are one of the main most important and significant obligations," said Governor Mike Beebe.

Governor Beebe said without strong support and hard work there is not a big chance for growth.

"You do it one factory, you do it one business, you do it one job at a time," said Gov. Beebe.

"Some of them do not have jobs and some of them are commuting to other communities. This will bring everything back to them right here in town," said Chandler.

Since the previous company left this building three years ago there have been offers to purchase the facility but those offers didn't come with any jobs.

"That's our ultimate objective for everything that we are doing right now is job creation and putting our economy back on track," said Arkansas Senator Blanche Lincoln.

Before the factory can open a rail spur has to be added and the building has to be retrofitted, two things that will also add jobs.

"That will affect many more than the 120 people and then it will also affect all the businesses and as this all occurs it will also affect the whole region," said Beebe.

"It's not just the jobs in Marked Tree it supports, it's all the other jobs in Arkansas as well that produce a part of the product," said Lincoln.

Marked Tree Mayor Dixon Chandler said they've worked for three years to make this a reality.  The city has worked with the federal government and the state to raise the $1,000,000 necessary to put a rail spur in for the company.

"The railroad will probably do some engineering studying and that will probably take a month maybe two months and after that it will take about four to five months to lay the rail," said Chandler.

At the same time, awesome products will be working inside the building to get it ready.

""The mayor did a tremendous job here identifying what his needs are he went to the community and said this is a possibility," said Lincoln.

Also announced on Friday are 120 jobs being added to an existing Awesome Products facility in West Memphis.  The company makes household cleaners, laundry detergent, and dryer sheets.  The products sell in Dollar General, Family Dollar, and Fred's stores.  The company will invest over $44 million dollars in the two facilities.

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