TRUMANN, AR (KAIT) - A grand opening took place on Monday for a business in Trumann that has created some extra jobs.
Rage Fabrications held a ribbon cutting ceremony at their new location in Trumann.
Ronnie Samuel, the company's president, said what they're doing today is different from where they started.
"We do a metal fabricating business," Samuel said. "We make ATV and UTV accessories, bumpers, doors, roofs and all kinds of accessories for Can-Ams, Polaris, Honda and other ATV's. We also make signs and are getting into the storm shelter business. We've actually started in the automotive industry almost 50 years ago. We had a machine shop and muffler shop and different things and it just kind of grew into this and got to the point where we had to lease a bigger building. So, that's where we're at today."
Samuel said they had help from a number of different people.
"It's been pretty exciting," Samuel said. "We were actually looking for a building big enough to move into. We got with the Trumann Industrial Commission and Neal Vickers and the City of Trumann and they helped us go through the process of getting a federal grant and that's what we're celebrating today. The grant money was spent on the building for the infrastructure, electrical system, fire, sprinkler system and things like that. Got the building ready for us and we're really excited about moving into the building."
Vice President of Rage Fabrication Ian Samuel said they've needed in a larger location for some time.
"It's very exciting, we've been waiting on this a long time," Ian said. "We've grown quite a bit. We were in a much smaller building, so we're happy to be here."
"We have 10 people on the payroll right now," Samuel said. "Part of our grant requirement was employment of people. So, we're going to hire people, and at the end of the first year we're supposed to have ten people employed, and we're at that number right now, and we're about halfway through the first year. So, we're excited about it."
Samuel said a few jobs can make a big difference in a community.
"It's exciting," Samuel said. "People don't realize how much it impacts a small town like Trumann. Just to have 8 or 10 extra jobs. Because the people that have those jobs get to go on and spend their money in the stores and shops and things like that in the city of Trumann. So, it's a great benefit for the city of Trumann as well as us and our employees."
Governor Asa Hutchinson traveled all the way from Little Rock to take part in the day.
"Rage Fabrications is an illustration of how small manufacturing is growing in Arkansas," the governor said. "They're entrepreneurs, they're innovators and we don't just support industry that's moving to Arkansas. That's important, but we also want to support our existing industry and what the Trumann Industrial Development Commission has done to support them. What the Delta Regional Authority in the state has done is really an important signal that we want to all grow internally as well as try to recruit industry. Manufacturing is coming back to the United States and it's particularly coming back to Arkansas. It's exciting to see this in Trumann."
Governor Hutchinson said any progress any business makes is a step in the right direction for everyone's economic situation.
"Whenever you see 10 to 20 new employees, that means they're going to spend money," Governor Hutchinson said. "It's going to help the economy. It's going to help the local tax base. It provides for families and then when I leave from here I'm going to Roach manufacturing in Trumann who is also doing a great job. 350 employees and they're growing. Amazing opportunities. This is exciting in Northeast Arkansas and here in Poinsett County."
Samuel said they have everything they need to keep doing more.
"We're really excited to be in this new building," Samuel said. "The city has made it possible for us to have the safety equipment that we need, the electrical infrastructure that we need. We've gotten doors for 53-foot steel trucks to back in so we can load and unload steel. We're really excited about the facility because it gives us the opportunity to spread our wings and pursue some other avenues as well."
Both Samuel and Ian said they want to continue growing and hiring even more people in the future.
"We have a 20-year lease signed with the city of Trumann," Samuel said. "We hope to fill this building to the maximum capacity, if not expand beyond that and maybe get an even bigger building someday. We hope to continue to grow and grow with the city."
"It's exciting to know we started from nothing basically," Ian said. "And here we are now. So, it's a good thing. Just keep growing, and get more help, more people and make a bigger business."