OSCEOLA, Ark. (KAIT) - One of the largest employers in Region 8 will be in the national spotlight this month with a feature story in Forbes Magazine.
According to the story, entitled “Green Steel: How Arkansas Became Home to America’s Cleanest and Fastest-Growing Steelmaker”, the author, Jonathan Ponciano, delves into the company’s history as well as its growth in Mississippi County.
“Inside cavernous blue hangars set on 1,100 acres of what was once soy fields abutting the Mississippi River, a succession of 300-ton scrap-filled buckets- the remains of old cars and refrigerators - await their turn at the furnace,” the story noted. “Wailing sirens pierce the deafening rumble and sparks fly as blindingly yellow flames rise up from the glowing ladle.”
The story also noted that the company, with 513 employees, has a cash flow per employee of $557,000 compared to US Steel’s $61,000.
“Including bonus pay, the average Big River production worker earned $129,000 last year, 3.5 times the median household income in Arkansas’ Mississippi County. Big River has already secured enough financing to double its capacity to 3.3 million tons by the end of 2020,” the story added.
The company’s CEO, Dave Stickler, also told Forbes that the company has created a Wall Street-style bonus approach, with the majority of mill workers receiving production bonus targets of 150% of their wages.
“We’ve had weeks where people are getting paid a bonus of 180%, 200% or even 210%,” Stickler told Forbes.