Last week, economic developers in northeast Arkansas said two local firms are looking to hire more than 100 workers and the opportunity to expand manufacturing jobs could be significantly greater.
The Blytheville Courier News reports that Clif Chitwood, Mississipi County's economic development recruiter, told the quorum court that American Greetings would expand hiring 120 new workers.
Also, Chitwood said that Southworth, a metals company in Manila, was adding 15 new welders to the payroll.
Chitwood said that he is working on a plan to bring more workforce training to the northeast Arkansas region to satisfy demand for up to 600 new welders.
From the Courier News:
He also briefed the committee on a new idea which his office is preparing to present to area industry. All area industries who employ welders, he said, would hire more if qualified people were available, but the county has not been able to supply them with enough worke
rs who have the necessary skills.
“Companies have to go where qualified people are,” he said, “and we can do that better than anywhere else. We have people who need jobs. If we had 600 welders show up here tomorrow, we could put them all to work within three days.”
The project, which is still in the planning phases, would involve the possibility of the county paying to hire an instructor who would create a specialized welding course, dedicated solely to supplying local industry with employees. If companies agree, they would hire the prospective welder and pay them while they undergo training, while the county pays the instructor. The end result, according to Chitwood, would be a qualified local employee filling a local industry need.
You can read more here.
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