MARMADUKE, Ark. (KAIT) - A supplier of railcar and marine barges announced plans Wednesday to invest $16 million and add 35 new jobs over the next year or so, according to state economic development officials.
The Arkansas Economic Development Commission announced in a media release that the Greenbrier Companies will be investing in the Marmaduke facility, adding to the 850 jobs already at the facility.
In the media release, company officials said it will provide a key opportunity for growth.
“When Greenbrier acquired American Railcar Industries, we knew the Marmaduke operations would help us deliver on three key parts of our strategic plan,” William A. Furman, chairman and CEO, told Region 8 News in the media release. “First, strengthening our core North American engineering and manufacturing business. Next, growing our operations at scale in new and existing markets; and lastly, extending our talent base. The expansion of our facility in Marmaduke will further position Greenbrier for continued growth for many years to come.”
Secretary of Commerce Mike Preston said the expansion is fantastic for the area.
“I’m happy to be here today," he said. "Arkansas is a big state, diverse state, with a diverse economy so any time I can make it to a region to announce jobs, it’s really exciting.”
The Lake Oswego, Oregon-based company announced in April of this year that they were purchasing American Railcar Industries. The sale took effect in July, with company officials saying ARI had a $10.5 million, 75 job expansion in 2015 at the Marmaduke facility.
Both state and local officials said the announcement will have an impact on the region.
“Even though Greenbrier is new to Arkansas, the company already has a rich presence through American Railcar, and I am delighted to see that relationship continue,” Gov. Asa Hutchinson said. “This investment will go a long way in improving the lives of many Northeast Arkansas families, and we are proud to be a part of the company’s success.”
“ARI has been a great corporate citizen in Marmaduke for many years, and we are excited that Greenbrier plans on continuing with the partnership,” Marmaduke Mayor Steve Dixon said. “We have a world-class workforce that has played an integral role in ARI’s success, and we are confident that we will do the same for Greenbrier.”
Region 8 News will have more details as they become available.