New Jobs and Economic Boost to Mississippi County

October 14, 2005--Posted at 10:45 p.m. CDT

BLYTHEVILLE, AR--The number 2 steel producing county in the country added another major company on riday. Atlas Tube announced plans to build a manufacturing plant in Blytheville bringing news jobs and an economic boost.

"100 new jobs, 54 million dollar investment in the community, that puts us most exciting part for me is put us over 1000 news jobs over the last 3 years," said Blytheville Mayor Barrett Harrison.

"We're building a state of the art structural tubing plant solely devoted to structural tubing," said Barry Zekelman, CEO of Atlas Tube.

"It's good for Region 8, it's good for the entire state of Arkansas and quite frankly it's good for the delta," said Mississippi County Judge Steve McGuire.

Atlas Tube purchased Maverick's structural business in Mississippi County so Atlas knew the area had a lot to offer.

"We purchased Maverick structural business and it was in the area, I didn't want to leave the area and take jobs out of the area we wanted to create them here," said Zekelman.

Atlas Tube does over one-billion dollars of business a year and makes everything from structural column supports to the soft wall you see at a NASCAR race, although the company is based out of Canada, it's the thriving steel industry in Mississippi County that brough it to the area.

"Right next door to Nucor, you need a supply of steel that's the main thing," said Zekelman.

It also didn't hurt that the area already has a highly specialized work force that understands the industry.

"You need to be in an area where people are used to working in the environment understand the industry understand the requirements both physically and mentally," said Zekelman.

Construction on the plant is expected to begin soon. With salaries at the plant ranging from forty to sixty-thousand dollars a year. Money and jobs that will stay in the community.

"Everyone I intend to hire will be from here. I am not moving anyone from any of my operations down here," said Zekelman.

A good workforce and a good product make this a win-win for both parties.

"They are going to find some good good people and that need a job and put them to work we know they are going to have great success here," said Harrison.