James Cash Penny once said: "Growth is never by mere chance, it is the result of forces working together."
This is evident in the groundbreaking of Big River Steel in Osceola, Arkansas. The $1.3B mill and recycling facility is expected to bring 500 jobs to Mississippi County.
The project was championed by Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe and this couldn't come at a better time for the people of northeast Arkansas. The unemployment rate in Arkansas recently went up to 6.2% which is still below the national average, but Mississippi County's unemployment rate is over 11% which is nearly double the state average.
Adding 500 jobs directly impacts the quality of life and the economy of Region 8. But I have a challenge for the folks at Big River Steel, and the Governor's office: These 500 jobs have got to be filled by local people to have the maximum impact. In other words, this is a chance to help our state and most important, the people of Mississippi County.
I salute all the hard work that went into this by Mississippi County, Governor Beebe and Big River Steel. These forces working together, hiring local people, and growing our economy will make this A Better Region 8.