AEDC to Meet in Marion Next Week as Toyota Decision Looms

FEBRUARY 23, 2007 - Posted at 3:50 p.m. CST

MARION, AR - The Arkansas Economic Development Commission is scheduled to hold its regular monthly meeting in Marion next week.  The public portion of the meeting is set for 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, March 1 at The Cedars of Marion.

The news comes as state and Crittenden County economic development officials and leaders await a final decision from Toyota about where the company will locate its next auto assembly plant.  The company is expected to choose either Marion/Crittenden County, or Chattanooga, Tennessee.  One business journal has predicted that the company has already chosen Marion, but has not yet made a public announcement.

Governor Mike Beebe is in Marion today.  Part of his public agenda is to meet with community leaders and officials of Mid-South Community College to celebrate the recent announcment of a federal economic development grant for the region.  MSCC recently launched several educational programs to train the local workforce for jobs in the automotive industry.

Hino Motors, a Toyota subsidiary, recently opened a plant in Marion that manufactures parts for Hino utility trucks.

Also on the AEDC's agenda is a tour of the Hino plant on Wednesday evening (2/28), as well as  the surrounding industrial park.  The tour is set for 3 p.m.  At 6:30 p.m., a reception and dinner will take place at The Cedars.