July 29, 2006 -- 10:20 PM CDT
PARAGOULD, AR -- Emerson Appliance Solutions in Paragould has been going strong for 50 years now, and the plant celebrated half a century Saturday.
Derwood Biles has managed the Paragould plant for about 16 years. He said that he's very proud to be a part of Emerson and its success.
"They had a vision 50 years ago to decide they no longer wanted to expand manufacturing in St. Louis," he said. "They were looking for something new and innovative and more productive."
Emerson found something new in the heart of Paragould, and Saturday was the day for employees, retirees and their families to come out and celebrate the milestone.
Everyone saw first hand how the plant has evolved.
"If you've not been in here in five or 10 years and you walk into the plant...you see the change," said Biles. "This is brand new to a lot of people."
Glen Howard and Jerry Yates agreed. They were part of Emerson's very first crew in 1956, and Yates was impressed with the progress.
"It has changed considerably," said Yates. "I'll get lost in here now, but it's still a nice group of people to be with."