More Big Business Coming to Region 8

December 13, 2006 - Posted at 6:09 p.m. CST

JONESBORO, AR -- Illinois based personal care product maker Alberto Culver has given Northeast Arkansas an early Christmas present.

"It's a great day, it's a great place to be here in Jonesboro, Arkansas," said Ken Copeland, chairman of Jonesboro Unlimited.

It's a great day indeed with the announcement that a large manufacturer plans to call Jonesboro home. St. Ives, Tresomme, Nexxus, Alberto Vo-5 and even Mrs. Dash. All products that are produced by Alberto Culver.

The corporation made the announcement Wednesday that they were coming to Jonesboro and bringing with them over 400 new jobs to area.

"We are very excited to announce today that we will be building and operating a new manufacturing facility in the Craighead Industrial Park," said Richard Mewborn, Vice President of Worldwide Operations for Alberto Culver.

"Eventually they will employ close to 400 people which is a gigantic deal for any community so we are very happy to have them," said Copeland.

In the next couple weeks Alberto Culver plans to break ground on a 500,000 square foot manufacturing facility on 80 acres and they hope to have production up and running in early 2008.

"Initially, our products will be our ethnic hair care brands," said Mewborn, "The brands are Motions, TCB, Soft and Beautiful, Just for Me."

In the upcoming years, Alberto Culver envisions expansion to include a larger facility and additional product lines. Ultimately the company selected Northeast Arkansas because of available land, strong infrastructure, transportation system, and a good community.

"What that says about Jonesboro, Arkansas is we are doing the right things and preparing ourselves for blue chip companies to come into to this facility and work in Jonesboro, Arkansas," said Copeland.

While Alberto Culver should provide an immediate boost to the local economy, its reputation will go along way to attracting more companies to the area in future years.

"Any time you have a major blue chip company make a decision to come into an area, everyone hears that. One of the major things that this company said when they came here was all the other blue chip companies that were already here, so they knew they were making the right decision," said Copeland.

Competition was tough to land this major industrial plant. Alberto Culver considered over 200 cities before narrowing their choices to 10, in the end, Jonesboro, they felt was the best fit.