The past ten days have been filled with significant economic development news for Arkansas, and I’d like to share some of that today.
On October 24, I was in Jonesboro for the grand opening of the Risever Machine Company, which manufactures parts for companies such as Caterpillar and Volvo. The company is investing $20 million and creating more than 100 jobs.
The next day, I was in Blytheville for the opening of Nucor Corporation’s $230 million specialty cold-steel mill, which brought 100 new jobs to the area.
Two days ago, I joined the owners of HMS Manufacturing at the Port of Little Rock, where we announced the Troy, Michigan, company would be opening a plant. HMS will invest $20 million and create nearly 100 jobs. HMS is a woman-owned company that manufactures plastic houseware products such as wastebaskets and storage bins.
I was in Conway for the fourth announcement, which was the announcement that DXC Technology will be adding 1,200 new jobs to the 450 existing jobs at its Conway campus. That will bring total employment to nearly 1,700 over the next five years; DXC Technology will fill about 200 of those good-paying jobs in the next six months.
DXC employs 180,000 people in 70 countries globally. The company has many choices for expansion, but the leadership team chose Conway. Andrea Fiumicelli, who is vice president and general manager of Healthcare and Life Sciences at DXC Technology, told me that the experience, skills, and dedication of the current DXC employees were a major factor in the decision.
He also cited our computer science initiative, the strength of our workforce, and the growth of the cybersecurity program at the University of Central Arkansas. UCA offers a bachelor of science in cybersecurity, and enrollment in the program has grown from five the first year to 57 this fall.
He recognized that our education system has created a pipeline of talent to industry.
So you see why I am excited about what is happening in Arkansas. Over ten days, we announced 1,500 new jobs and more than $300 million in investment in our state.
I have told the story that on my first day in office in 2015, I called the CEOs of six companies to ask them to consider opening a facility in Arkansas. As a result, Sig Sauer opened a plant in Jacksonville, and earlier this year, the company announced it was expanding again.
On the first day of my second term, I called six more CEOs. DXC Technology and HMS Manufacturing were among the companies I contacted. Ten months later, within a 10-day span, the two companies announced big plans for our state.
This success is directly related to the friendly business environment we’ve created in our state through the cooperation of the public and private sector. The foundation of it all, though, are the tens of thousands of the employees in our state who work so hard every day.