Forging Ahead in Arkansas

In Arkansas, the metals industry employs over 22,000 individuals and accounts for 13.6% of total manufacturing. Located in the Northeast corner of Arkansas, Mississippi County boasts the second-largest capacity for steel production in the nation

The Steel Story

Arkansas is a leader in the steel economy. With the infrastructure to succeed, Arkansas will continue to lead as steel production moves from the Northeast to the South.

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You're in good company

AEDC's mission is to create economic opportunity by attracting higher paying jobs, expanding and diversifying our state and local economies, increasing incomes and investment, and generating positive growth throughout Arkansas. Here are some examples of businesses that are thriving!

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Quick Facts:


Employed by the industry 


Metals establishments in Arkansas 


Worth of goods exported in 2019 


“We’ve been impressed from the first day we set foot in this state, just considering building another scrap recycling and steel mill. Arkansas was a good home for that. They had the river system, railroad system, highway system, and electrical grid system. What they had then, they have today — only in spades.”

David Stickler

CEO, Big River Steel

“This is the place that it needs to happen. People want to come to this area. Companies want to come down here. Why? In large part due to the things we do right here at this steel mill [in Hickman].”
Ladd Hall

Executive Vice President, Nucor

“It’s extraordinary to see the cotton fields of Arkansas converted into steel producing companies that really impact the world.” 

Asa Hutchinson

Governor of Arkansas

“People have heard me refer to this as steel mill heaven. And the reason we are here is really because of the work ethic of Arkansans.”

John Correnti

Former CEO, Big River Steel

“The strength and commitment of the state of Arkansas and our local teammates has given us the opportunity to make the next investment in the future of tube production for the entire country.” 
Barry Zekelman

CEO, Atlas Tube

“People realize now that steel might be moving from the Northeast to the South. Specifically, Arkansas is a leader.”

Mike Preston

Arkansas Secretary of Commerce

From the Blog

Arkansas Company Drives Advancements in Manufacturing Technology

Big River Steel in Osceola, AR, is putting artificial intelligence to great use to improve...


Mississippi County, Arkansas, is Primed for Steel

Mississippi County is the fourth-largest steel-producing county in the United States, and ...


How Arkansas Became a Leader in the Steel Industry

Since the land was first discovered, the fertile soil of the Arkansas Delta has produced c...


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Jack Thomas

Senior Project Manager

(501) 682-5355