Arkansas Economic Development Commission

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Southwest Steel Processing expands its Newport manufacturing facility

NEWPORT, Arkansas (June 1, 2015) – Southwest Steel Processing, a manufacturer of railcar and oil and gas components, today announced it is expanding its facility in Newport, Arkansas. The company plans to invest $18 million in the facility and add 100 jobs over the next two years. The addition of 100 jobs will bring total employment at the Newport facility to 220.  The expansion will allow Southwest Steel Processing to develop a new forging line.

Governor Asa Hutchinson joined local and company leaders at the announcement in Newport.

“This type of expansion is not possible without a strong, talented workforce already in place,” said Gov. Hutchinson. “Thanks to the existing employees of Southwest Steel Processing for their significant role in making this project a reality. We appreciate the company’s decision to continue growing in Arkansas.”

 “The expansion at Southwest Steel Processing of a second forging line will significantly increase our ability to provide high quality, competitively price forged steel parts to our customers,” said Ken Copeland, President of Southwest Steel Processing. “We are pleased to have the help and support of Gov. Hutchinson, Arkansas Economic Development Commission, Arkansas Development Finance Authority and the City of Newport Economic Development Commission that makes this expansion possible. In the past U.S. manufacturing has been severely challenged but as this expansion testifies it is experiencing a reemergence. All of us at SSP are very proud of what we have accomplished in the past 12 years and are looking forward to the future with great expectations.”

Southwest Steel Processing is a partnership between Cleveland-based Park Ohio and Arkansas Steel Associates LLC of Newport.

“The Newport Economic Development Commission is proud to be part of the expansion project with Southwest Steel Processing,” said Jon Chadwell, executive director of the Newport Economic Development Commission.  “We deeply appreciate both Park Ohio and Arkansas Steel Associates for selecting Newport for this expansion.  The Arkansas Economic Development Commission and the State of Arkansas have been wonderful partners in this process and we owe them a lot of thanks as well.  We also appreciate the citizens of Newport for creating the dedicated revenue stream that allows us to offer incentives to help projects like this choose Jackson County”

Park Ohio operates approximately 90 manufacturing, distribution, and service facilities, and employs approximately 6,000 people worldwide. Revenues totaled approximately $1.4 billion in 2014. Park Ohio is headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio.

In February 2015, the Arkansas Economic Development Commission and Arkansas Development Finance Authority (ADFA) approved an $11 million bond guaranty related to this expansion.

“We are excited to once again support an expansion of Southwest Steel’s operations, said ADFA President Aaron Burkes.  “ADFA remains committed to providing affordable financing to new and expanding Arkansas companies.”

Those interested in employment at the Newport facility can contact the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services.