Tool manufacturer to invest $35 million plant in Ash Flat

by George Jared ([email protected]) 846 views 

Emerson announced Monday (Oct. 19) it will open a new facility in Ash Flat. It plans to invest $35 million and create approximately 245 new jobs within four years.

Emerson acquired the former Cherokee Frame facility for this project. The facility is 277,000 sq. ft. Construction is scheduled to begin this year.

“We greatly appreciate the support of Gov. Asa Hutchinson, the Arkansas Economic Development Commission (AEDC), the Northeast Arkansas Regional Intermodal Authority, and the other local, state, and federal officials who helped to finalize plans for our new location in Ash Flat,” said Craig Sumner, president of Emerson’s professional tools portfolio in North America. “The new facility’s close proximity to our Memphis Distribution Center will allow for reduced lead times for shipping of products and materials, improvements in customer service and opportunities for growth while achieving operational excellence.”

The Arkansas facility will operate within the company’s “tools and home products” production line and will manufacture products for the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing industries.

“Since its inception more than 130 years ago, Emerson has developed a reputation as a company that combines innovation and a commitment to the communities where it operates,” Hutchinson said. “We are pleased that company leadership has chosen Ash Flat as the site of its new facility, and we look forward to a long and successful partnership.”

Emerson was founded in St. Louis in 1890 as a manufacturer of electric motors and fans. Over the past century, the company has grown from a regional manufacturer into a global technology and software solutions powerhouse.

“Emerson has built a legacy as a global leader renowned for its innovative solutions, and we are pleased that Arkansas has become part of Emerson’s story,” Secretary of Commerce Mike Preston said. “Thanks to the company’s investment and commitment to Ash Flat, as well as the overwhelming support of community partners such as the Northeast Arkansas Intermodal Authority, North Arkansas Electric, Ozarka College, FNBC Bank, and the White River Planning and Development District, we are one step closer to putting more Arkansans back to work.”

The project also received support from local, state, and federal partners such as the Delta Regional Authority (DRA), AEDC, the City of Ash Flat, and Sharp County.

“I am proud that DRA funds will play a part in enhancing public infrastructure to help create opportunities for new jobs in Sharp County,” said Delta Regional Authority Federal Co-Chairman Chris Caldwell. “When state, local, and federal entities work with private industry partners, it results in a successful outcome for economic growth. Thanks to the leadership of Governor Hutchinson, hundreds of new skilled laborers will be trained and working in Arkansas.”

The company cited proximity to customers throughout North America and quality workforce among its reasons for locating in Arkansas. Ozarka College and Black River Technical College will both collaborate with the company to develop a workforce training program tailored to the company’s needs.

Incentives for the project break down as follows:

  • AEDC is committing up to $7.5 million in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds to Sharp County to be used by Emerson for building acquisition, building renovations, and/or new equipment.
  • The DRA is also committing $307,000 in funding.
  • Local, city, and county incentives for the project currently total approximately $520,000.
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