by Tyler Hale
A Michigan-based manufacturing company is setting up a production facility at the Port of Little Rock in 2020.
During a press conference today at the port, HMS Mfg. Co. executives announced plans to build a new manufacturing hub for the company, which produces home organization housewares. The new facility is expected to create 90 new jobs of the course of two years
Based in Troy, Mich., HMS also operates warehouses in Ohio, Texas and Kentucky, along with a Hong Kong office. HMS produces storage, laundry, waste and kitchen products under the Hefty, Home Logic and Stola brands.
The facility is designed to serve as an injection molding plant for HMS. HMS will utilize state-of-the-art injection molding technology at the Port of Little Rock facility as part of its initiative to incorporate emerging technologies. The space will allow the company to expand its manufacturing, assembly and warehousing capabilities, according to an Arkansas Economic Development Commission release.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson said during the press conference that the new facility represents a $20 million investment in Arkansas. Production will take place in a 550,000 square foot facility that is scheduled to open in summer 2020.
This facility represents the company’s first ownership of a manufacturing, HMS president and owner Janet Sofy said. “This is the first time we are going to be manufacturing on our own, and you could say it’s a little scary at times. It’s a big endeavor…,” she says.
However, Softy noted that HMS has found numerous partners, locally and at the state level, who have encouraged their move to Arkansas. Softy highlighted the efforts of Port of Little Rock executive director Bryan Day, the Little Rock City Board of Directors, Little Rock City Manager Bruce Moore, Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott Jr., Secretary of Commerce Mike Preston and more.
These relationships, she said, helped convince the company to move to Arkansas over multiple competing states. “We’re counting on partners along the way to keep us strong,” she said. “Speaking of partners, Mayor Frank Scott Jr. was kind enough to meet with us. My brother and I came down to look and make some very difficult decisions between three states, and he [said] that the state and the city would work together to support us.”
According to the company’s website, HMS is planning to hire for a range of positions. These positions include production supervisors, process technicians, maintenance technicians, forklift operators, machine operators, quality technicians, tool maintenance, and warehouse shipping and receiving.
Image courtesy of Arkansas Economic Development Commission