OSCEOLA, AR (KAIT) – Anywhere from 75 to 100 new jobs will be created in Mississippi County once construction to a new facility is completed, according to BlueOak Resources. Ground was officially broken Tuesday. Former Vice President Al Gore joined company executives to make the announcement.
BlueOak, based out of California, announced plans to build a new recycling complex at 1024 Ohlendorf Road in Osceola, according to a news release sent out Monday.
Officials said the company has closed on $35 million in financing. Once opened, the plant will process more than 15 million pounds of electronic scrap metal every year, according to the release.
BlueOak recycles the metals used to manufacture most electronics, according to the company's website. Many of the unused and unwanted electronics are called electronic waste.
"Our populous here haven't had the opportunity to have any of these high tech jobs like this," said Osceola Mayor Dickie Kennemore.
He said this new addition will help boost their economy.
"We expect growth, we expect big things in the future out of this facility," Kennemore said.
The residents of Osceola are excited to see a new industry come to their home town.
"We've been pulling up the back row for so long and now it's time we step up front and this is going to be an up front step for Osceola," said resident, Joe Harris.
The Osceola refinery will process over 15 million pounds of electronic scrap every year. Harris has lived in Osceola all his life and hopes this addition will allow the next generation to work at home.
"We have so many of our young people who move away because of the job situation but this is going to be a good start for them and it's going to be high paying jobs," he said.
"The United States is building a domestic supply chain to tackle the challenges presented by e-waste, and Arkansas has the talent pool and business environment to attract the cutting-edge companies like BlueOak that will comprise that supply chain," Governor Mike Beebe said in the release. "This facility highlights our commitment to bring more manufacturing jobs back to the U.S., and back to Arkansas."
The release stated that recycled materials from circuit boards, cell phones and other electronics are made with sizable amounts of gold, silver, copper and palladium.