Governor Huckabee Announces Plant Opening in Region 8 - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Marion, AR -- Heather Flanigan

Governor Huckabee Announces Plant Opening in Region 8

May 5, 2004 -- Posted at 5:12 p.m. CDT

MARION -- Governor Mike Huckabee announces the construction of a new facility that will bring in more jobs to Northeast Arkansas. The governor made a major announcement on a dirt road Wednesday next to a cotton field, but it won't look like that for long.

"The Hino manufacturing cooperation, which is a subsidiary of Toyota will be building on this site behind me a plant that will be manufacturing parts and components for the trucking industry," said Huckabee.

One of the reasons the Hino plant chose to come to here in Marion is because of the central location. This area is key to the mid-south.

Huckabee said to a crowded audience, "The crossing of having the Union Pacific and Burlington Northern railroad and the internodal systems. The river being so close and being minutes away from the world busiest cargo airport. from having the intersection of the two busiest interstate highways for 18 wheel trucks, 55 & 40, right here."

The full economic impact of Wednesday announcement won't be known for a while, but the town of Marion will be seeing a little extra money coming soon.

"President Bush has also today through the commerce department announced grants of $1.5 million dollars for Marion to assist in this project and to Wynne, Arkansas for the amount of $1.4 million to further assist in the project there," said Huckabee.

And hopefully that income will help keep young people in Crittenden county....about 1/3 of the 700 students at Marion High School will go straight into the work force.

Principal Wayne Fawcett said, "Good wages, good benefits, it's a real reason to stay in Crittenden County as opposed to look elsewhere and move elsewhere for better opportunities. A plant like this, a manufacturer like this and hopefully a super site like Toyota or car manufacture, just great opportunities for young people and existing residents of Crittenden County."

Officials from the Hino plant plan to come to Marion in July to announce more specific details, such as how many workers the plant will employ, and exactly what kind of economic impact the new business will have.

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