January 17, 2006--Posted at 5:00 p.m. CST
JONESBORO, AR--In December, Alberto Culver announced plans to build a manufacturing plant in Jonesboro that will bring 400 new jobs to the area.
Wednesday on a cold, soggy piece of Craighead County farmland, state and local officials joined together to break ground on the new site.
On the day Governor Mike Beebe presents his balanced budget to the General Assembly, he found it important enough to spend the morning in Jonesboro.
"First of all it is a huge economic opportunity for the state. Secondly, I love Jonesboro, it's kind of like my second home and thirdly the people of Jonesboro have been so supportive that if there is any opportunity I have to pay them back, I want to accommodate," said Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe.
Governor Beebe and officials in Craighead County helped to roll out the red carpet for the official ground breaking of the new Alberto Culver plant in the Craighead Technology Park.
"It's really gratifying to actually put a shovel in the ground today and see the start of some real construction progress," said Vice President of Global Operations for Alberto Culver Richard Mewborn.
According Mewborn, construction has been underway for about a week. Competition to land the new manufacturing plant was tough, but Alberto Culver felt Jonesboro really stood out.
"One of the factors that was very important was the community and the way they embrace the manufacturing sector, so this just kind of validated that decision was a good one," said Mewborn.
While Jonesboro is known for their food processing plants, Governor Mike Beebe says the addition of Alberto Culver will add a new niche to a growing manufacturing sector.
"It's really healthy for everyone to have a diverse economy and diverse manufacturing situation and that is what we have here," said Governor Beebe.
According to Governor Beebe the economic climate in the area is right for more global companies to call Craighead County home.
"Northeast Arkansas is a jewel and it's one of the area's that's grown, that will continue to grow and we will continue to push," said Beebe.