A rebounding economy has led one Northeast Arkansas employer to expand its workforce. Tenaris has announced plans to hire 250 more workers at its welded mill in Hickman. A timetable for when the new employees will be hired was not released.
“Hot rolled coil prices have begun to drop following massive gains last year and customer demand continues to grow for domestically made pipe. These conditions make it the right time for a meaningful restart of welded production, part of the ramp up across the United States that began late 2020,” said Tenaris U.S. President Luca Zanotti.
Tenaris has operated its Hickman facility for 26 years, according to the company. Since 2006, it has invested $260 million in the plant. Tenaris is a metal tubular manufacturing facility that makes products primarily used in the oil and gas drilling industry.
The company had a string of layoffs in 2019 and 2020 at the Hickman plant. At the time, officials cited declines in drilling for oil and natural gas for the layoffs.
Activity at the Hickman plant had been maintained throughout 2020 and 2021 albeit at lower levels due to the market downturn, according to the company. During this period, employees in Hickman underwent cross-training, enhancing skill sets in different areas of operations. Following improvements incorporated in the latter half of 2021 for a more efficient flow of the manufacturing processes, the mill will be steadily adding capacity and volumes in the coming months, officials said.
Since October 2020 when Tenaris began its industrial expansion plan, it has added 1,200 employees nationwide, which will continue throughout 2022.
“These are interesting times for our sector with more favorable movements in the market though pressures persist in supply chains and with the pandemic. We remain uniquely positioned, leading a dynamic and fast-paced scale up of our domestic operations, now with welded production contributing on a greater level to our integrated U.S. network of mills and service centers,” said Zanotti.