The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a surge in disinfectant wet-wipe use to control the spread of germs and it has been a boon to Nice-Pak and its Jonesboro operations. The company, one of the leading wet wipe producers in the world, announced Monday (Nov. 16) it will double its production capacity at its Northeast Arkansas facility and will hire an additional 176 workers.
The cost of the expansion investment was not released.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson was in Jonesboro for the announcement. Despite the pandemic, the governor said he and his team have been working to secure economic development opportunities statewide.
“For more than ten years, Nice-Pak’s Jonesboro facility has served its customers and its community by manufacturing essential products for our day-to-day lives,” Gov. Hutchinson said. “Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Nice-Pak has worked harder than ever to provide essential resources to help people through this difficult time. I appreciate the value that this company places on the health and well-being of its customers and its employees, and I’m pleased that Nice-Pak will continue growing its operations in Jonesboro.”
The expansion will begin in January in phases and will be complete in August 2021. It will entail multiple upgrades, including the extension of existing lines and the addition of a new manufacturing line. Earlier this year, Nice-Pak increased its household disinfectant manufacturing production to around the clock operations in response to increased demand and is on track to add more than 130 additional associate positions by the end of 2020, meaning it has added about 300 jobs this year alone.
“Our products are essential for consumers to help stay healthy and well amid the COVID-19 pandemic,” Robert Julius, Chairman and CEO of Nice-Pak said. “We have been working non-stop to produce more wipes than ever before, and we commend the tremendous performance of our Jonesboro associates, who have been terrific in rising to the challenge.”
The Jonesboro facility already had about 400 employees and had at least 10 lines at the start of the year. It opened its doors in 2009 with two lines and about 35 employees.
The company was formed in 1957 and its first product was moist wet-wipes for Kentucky Fried Chicken. It has provided products for Walmart for 35 years. Those products include Parent’s Choice baby wipes, Grime Boss wipes, and a selection of Equate brand wipes. It is headquartered in Orangeburg, New York.
Retiring Jonesboro Mayor Harold Perrin noted that his administration began during the same year the company located in the city. During the last decade, the city’s economy has flourished as has the company.
“When Nice-Pak announced they were coming to Jonesboro in 2009, we knew it was a company that was going to continue to grow right along with us. From day one, Nice-Pak has continually fulfilled its commitment to Jonesboro by bringing good-paying jobs to our city,” Perrin said. “This new expansion is the latest chapter in Nice-Pak’s growing presence in Jonesboro. We are confident that Nice-Pak and Jonesboro will continue to grow together.”