Emerson to Open $35M Ash Flat Plant, Create 245 Jobs

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Global technology and engineering company Emerson of St. Louis plans to open a new facility in Ash Flat (Sharp County), invest $35 million there and create about 245 jobs over the next four years.

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

Emerson acquired the former Cherokee Frame facility for this project. It is 277,000 SF, and construction is scheduled to begin this year.

Craig Sumner, president of Emerson’s professional tools portfolio in North America, said in a news release that the plant’s proximity to Emerson’s Memphis distribution center will allow for “reduced lead times for shipping of products and materials, improvements in customer service and opportunities for growth.”

Ozarka College and Black River Technical College will collaborate with the company to develop a workforce training program tailored to Emerson’s needs, the company said.

“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,” state Secretary of Commerce Mike Preston said in a news release. “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 received support from the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, the Delta Regional Authority, the city and the county. AEDC said it is committing up to $7.5 million in Community Development Block Grant money to Sharp County to be used by Emerson for building acquisition, renovations and new equipment.

Graycen Bigger, executive director of the Northeast Arkansas Regional Intermodal Facilities Authority, told Arkansas Business that local incentives for the project currently total approximately $520,000. She also said the city is scheduled to do some in-kind water infrastructure improvements and that the Arkansas Department of Transportation will be making $250,000 to $300,000 in improvements in 2021 to Industrial Drive, which adjoins the 30-acre property. 

“Our workforce in Sharp County will be a valuable resource as the company seeks quality, dependable people to continue its record of success,” Sharp County Judge Gene Moore said.

And Ash Flat Mayor Larry Fowler added, “It is no surprise that a growing company like Emerson recognizes the quality of our workforce and the advantage of our central location. We are proud of our city and look forward to welcoming Emerson as the newest member of our business community.”