Future bright with announcement of new jobs, official says

(Source: KAIT-TV)
(Source: KAIT-TV)

NEWPORT, AR (KAIT) - The economy of one area community is about to grow in a big way!

Director of Economic Development for the Newport Economic Development Commission, Jon Chadwell, said they had exciting news to announce on Thursday.

"We got some great news today," Chadwell said. "Granges decided to invest in a former plant here. They're going to bring the plant back up to speed and add about 100 employees and invest $26 million. This is going to be a huge boost for the Newport economy."

The Newport operations will manufacture aluminum for various light gauge foil applications such as food-grade packaging products.

Granges purchased Noranda Aluminum in 2016 and acquired the Newport facility, along with those in Tennessee and North Carolina.

Chadwell said it was after the purchase when talk began about future possibilities.

"We were working with Noranda first," Chadwell said. "And then when Granges acquired Noranda we started working with them. We believe in working with our existing industries. And so, we stayed in touch with them and when this became a possibility we began to pursue it. And we're glad that we could work with the company to find a way for them to invest here and create economic opportunity here."

Chadwell said it's about working to meet everyone's needs.

"The project has been in the works for a while," Chadwell said. "But it always is. When you're in communication with existing industries you are listening to them and trying to hear what their needs are and trying to work with them to see if you can meet their needs. So, it's an ongoing process. So, each step we try to stay engaged with all our existing industries."

Chadwell said when he and fellow co-workers got the news, they were ecstatic.

"We were thrilled," Chadwell said. "We found out this was happening for sure and we were so excited. The office has been a happy place today because it's a good day for Newport."

Chadwell said this is going to mean a lot to Newport families.

"Families have a lot more economic opportunity," Chadwell said. "These jobs are going to be an average wage that is higher than our normal average. And so, families and people that live here will have the opportunity to get a good job, make a good living, provide for their family and do a lot of things in town."

Chadwell said he hopes Granges investing in Newport is just the beginning.

"When we can have a business that makes this kind of investment," Chadwell said. "It shows other companies that this is a place to invest and this is a place they can be successful. We have so many great corporate partners in Newport already. We have so many companies that have chosen us as their home. And this is just another example. So, we hope other companies will see we're worth investing in and move here and succeed here."

Chadwell said things are great and are only going to get better.

"The future of Newport is bright," Chadwell said. "It's going to be a great place to live. Our economy continues to grow and we continue to provide lots of opportunities for folks."

Chadwell said all the jobs should be in place over the next two years.

For more information about Newport, click here.

For more information about the company Granges, click here.

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