NUCOR Steel Arkansas hosted a special ribbon cutting at its Blytheville headquarters Thursday afternoon to commemorate a new 230 million dollar cold mill complex, that will allow the corporation to expand. Governor Asa Hutchinson served as keynote speaker.
"Whenever you have the steel industry that's so strong in Northeast Arkansas, the fourth largest steel producing county in the United States, this is something that really helps us to market the state." said Governor Asa Hutchinson.
The cold-mill complex will house NUCOR Steel's high-strength steel lamination products, and will also generate thousands of dollars worth of blue collar job opportunity through next year.
"We have a wonderful workforce here in Arkansas," says NUCOR Steel Arkansas general manager Mary Emily Slate, "but growth means we need more talent to come this way. and so we love seeing the opportunity to even bring people from out of state. And give more jobs to the people that are in state."
Since the company first opened in 1992, Nucor Steel Arkansas has invested more than 2.5 billion dollars into the Northeast Arkansas economy. The cold mill expansion is expected to add 100 new jobs in manufacturing, with an average starting pay of eighty-thousand dollars per year.
"It actually has an impact because it's taking people that were at one time working in cotton fields, teaching them a trade through our colleges, and also educating them on ways that they can rebuild, or just change that quality of life." says Blytheville mayor James Sanders.
Mary Emily Slate says the company is also increasing its benefits and training to attract a wider talent base.
"NUCOR is looking for those opportunities, and making sure we get involved in the STEM programs, so that we're really helping our young people to come up and understand what their opportunity in manufacturing is."
NUCOR Steel Arkansas will begin filling job openings for the cold-mill complex is spring of 2019.