Bartlo Packaging, a manufacturer serving the specialty chemical industry, announced Wednesday (Nov. 2) it will conduct a $1.3 million expansion of its operations in Helena, Arkansas.
The company has recently acquired a 105,000-square-foot building adjacent to its current operations and plans to add approximately 50 new positions. As part of the expansion, Bartlo Packaging (BPS) will transition its existing operations in Passaic, New Jersey, to Helena.
“BPS is very happy to announce a major expansion to our business and facilities in Phillips County,” said Bartlo CEO Allen Bartlo. “Begun as an outgrowth of Bartlo Packaging in order to be closer to our customers in the agricultural market, BPS has grown to equal the sales and capabilities of the original New Jersey company. I personally have always felt strong ties to Helena, enjoying seven years living on 10th Street. After 30 years, we have made the decision to go ‘all in’ and move the entirety of our operation to Phillips County. Thank you very much for being so welcoming.”
BPS, which currently employs more than 70 people in Helena, specializes in repackaging powders, liquids, and granules into unit dose packages. BPS said that consolidating its operations will better serve its customers in the central and southern regions of the country.
“We’re excited about the potential this expansion will have on Helena and throughout Phillips County,” said Gov. Asa Hutchinson. “BPS has been a strong community partner for many years, and these jobs will go a long way in improving the lives of dozens of families. I am especially thrilled to hear that we will also be welcoming some transplants. I’m confident they will find Helena a wonderful place in which to live, work, and raise their families.”
Moving the production will approximately double BPS sales, Bartlo said. BPS’s capabilities will expand beyond packaging to include dry and wet milling and laboratory capabilities including liquid and gas chromatography.
“Helena is such a rich area of history and culture within our state, and BPS’ decision to move the company’s entire operations to Helena is a testament to the success BPS has experienced in Helena over the past several years,” said Arkansas Secretary of Commerce Mike Preston. “Businesses are realizing that they can lower their costs here while still maintaining the highest standards of quality and productivity, not to mention the amazing quality of life we offer.”
Bartlo said that approximately 10 current employees have already expressed an interest in moving from New Jersey to the Helena area, attracted by the reasonable housing costs in Phillips County compared to New Jersey and the welcome change of moving away from a highly urban environment. The remainder of the new hires will come directly from the Helena area.
“This announcement by BPS, a company and employer already well liked and well known here for 30 years, will not only help fill the jobs lost at this same location four years ago, but makes a statement to everyone paying attention that Helena-West Helena and Arkansas are great places to locate and expand,” said Mayor Kevin Smith. “I speak for the entire community when I express our excitement, as well as our gratitude, to Allen Bartlo, Governor Hutchinson, Partners Bank President Vance St. Columbia, and everyone who is helping make this work for our community.”