Roach Manufacturing Corp. will expand its Caraway operations and add up to 30 new jobs, Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced Monday (Aug. 31) from the facility. The company, which makes conveyor systems, plans to add a 25,000-square-foot facility that will take up to two years to complete.
Arkansas Economic Development Commission Communications Director Chelsea O’Kelley told Talk Business & Politics the expansion will be paid for with a $305,000 grant from the Governor’s Quick Action Closing Fund. The grant will be made to the city of Caraway, which owns the current facility. It won’t have to be paid back if the expansion is completed in the two-year timeframe, she added.
“Caraway has been a great fit for our company in the past year,” Mike Roach, vice president of manufacturing at RMC said. “The local workforce values dependability and hard work, which are exactly what we need as our business continues togrow.”
The expansion will triple the workforce in Cararway, and will push the company towards 500 total workers. Caraway Mayor Bo James said he approached Mike Roach in 2017 and inquired about the company opening a facility in the city.
Opened in 1953, RMC is based in Trumann, and Roach told James the company wanted to stay “under one roof.” James continued to talk with Roach and last year the company decided to open operations in Caraway. Since it first opened, RMC has undergone at least nine expansions.
RMC announced Monday that it will donate $10,000 to the Riverside School District to renovate the Caraway gym.
Hutchinson touted the job growth during his administration, and reaffirmed his decisions regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. The governor said the state’s economy and its workers would have been devastated if a shelter-in-place directive had been issued.
The school system was closed last spring, and at the time it was the right move, the governor said. But this year, schools needed to re-open to in-person instruction, he said. Students learn better in-person, he added.
“It’s the best for our students. It’s what’s best for our communities,” he said.