Two of Jonesboro's newest industries faring well in 2010

By Lauren Payne - bio | email feedback

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - "We're adding 95 people in January for our first two shifts and we're adding another 45 people in May,"  said Nice-Pak Plant Manager, Brad Zenko.

Zenko says 2011 holds an expansion in its workforce and in production.

"With this addition, then we'll be into some of the personal care items," said Zenko.

Zenko says it's phase 2 and it's a more than 25 million dollar investment.  He says phase 2 is his focus right now, but says there is room to grow.

"We're looking at a number of different lines beyond phase 2.   We're very actively looking at various options of course depending upon getting the business," said Zenko.

"What we want to do is sustain our growth and we have a very good start," said Nordex USA Vice President of Production, Joe Brenner.

This year wind turbine manufacturer Nordex became operational and is already filling orders from companies, according to Brenner.  He says lean manufacturing, efficiencies in the organization, and high quality products are musts for continued success.

"We're going to continue to utilize our training program, both within our academy, Arkansas State University, and then on the job training," said Brenner.

Brenner says they are 70 people strong right now, and expect to be over 100 in 2011. Speaking of the workforce, Brenner says 80 percent are from within Jonesboro.

"Our people within Jonesboro that are knowledgeable in understanding the manufacturing process will be doing the training for all future workers in the Jonesboro facility," said Brenner.

Both Brenner and Zenko say the area's diverse industries allows them to hire from a variety of cross sections...

"...But all with the technical skills and they've adapted beautifully," said Brenner.

"We get people with other backgrounds in industry that may compliment or augment what we're going to teach them so it really rounds us out," said Zenko.

Right now, Brad Zenko says Nice-Pak makes household hard surface, disinfecting wipes.  In phase 2, the company will expand and produce large count baby wipes.

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