Craighead County Quorum Court endorses Trinity Rail

Craighead County Quorum Court endorses Trinity Rail

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - The 115,000 square foot Nordex plant, vacant for over a year, is on the verge of getting a new resident.

"It's probably the fastest moving project I've had a chance to work on. From start to finish, they made the decision to come to Jonesboro in about 3 months," Jonesboro Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Mark Young said. "To say they've hit the ground running is an understatement."

However to get on track to creating 350 new jobs for the area, Trinity needed an endorsement from the Craighead County Quorum Court.

According to the resolution, Trinity needs to be endorsed by a local governing body to take part in Arkansas' Tax Back Program. That local government must authorize the refund of local sales and use tax as provided in the Consolidated Incentive Act of 2003.

Justices of the Peace voted unanimously to give Trinity that backing.

Dross Hunter, program manager for build out of the Trinity facility in Jonesboro, said the court's decision will help in setting up and operating out of the former Nordex building.

Hunter told Region 8 News that though the main building will serve much of their needs, changes and additions will have to be made to the property.

"We're gonna have to lay some rail inside of the plant, things like that and we're actually adding some buildings to the existing property so we'll add two buildings and actually do some retrofitting inside the existing buildings," Hunter said.

Hunter said construction should be completed by the beginning of 2015 but some work can begin before construction is complete.

Though Trinity manufactures railcars, Hunter explained that the Jonesboro division will focus on repairing railcars.

Hunter said efforts to build their workforce are underway as well.

"We have a commitment to work within the county and the city from a standpoint of technical schools and junior colleges and things like that so we treat it as a partnership and those schools are gonna help us do what we need to do for a standpoint of getting people in the door and getting them hired and get them to work," Hunter said.

"The bulk of what we do is a welding technique. Obviously that is one of the specialties that a person is going to have to have from our standpoint. Obviously they're going to have to have a lot of training to understand what we do from a railcar repair standpoint but the bulk of our employees will have welding skills and will need welding skills."

Hunter said we can expect things to move quickly for Trinity. Though they plan to begin some work by the beginning of the year, they plan to be at full capacity by the second quarter of 2015.

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