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Hytrol expansion in Fort Smith brings 100 manufacturing jobs to the area

Hytrol Conveyor, Inc., headquartered in Jonesboro, will expand their product line in Fort Smith, adding 100 manufacturing jobs to the area.  

Hytrol designs and supplies customers with conveyor systems, helpful for companies who move heavy material. Hytrol’s main customers are Amazon, UPS and FedEx.

Hytrol plans to invest $3.3 million into the local facility. a 312,000 square foot production space.

Earlier this year, the company moved their parcel line to Fort Smith and that brought in 250 jobs. The company now employs 350 Fort Smith residents with a starting pay at $16 an hour.

Hytrol will use the Create Rebate and training funds from the state to help with their expansion. The training funds from the state will help Hytrol offset costs related to training their workforce.

Create Rebate gives companies a rebate for each full-time employee added to their payroll. The amount a company receives for each rebate is 3.9% of the taxable wages of each new employee they add to their payroll.

Michael Pakko, chief economist and state economic forecaster at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock Arkansas Economic Development Institute, said disruptions in the supply chain caused by COVID-19 led to manufacturing jobs coming back to the U.S. 

Mike Preston, secretary of commerce, said the state has benefited from companies returning.  

Preston said Arkansas’s location makes it attractive for manufacturers.

Preston also credited Arkansas’ workforce as a reason for manufacturers choosing Arkansas. 

Pakko said time will tell whether manufacturing jobs stay in the states or if they are outsourced again once the pandemic is over.

See the full article from South West Times Record here.

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