Emerson Professional Tools, a St. Louis-based company, has opened a new manufacturing plant in Ash Flat, Arkansas. The site is now home to their professional tools division. They are investing $35 million in their new location off Highway 62 on Industrial Drive. A former Cherokee Frame facility, the 277,000-square-foot building needed to be upgraded before operations could commence. They will employ 248 people over the next four years.

“We are pleased to welcome another manufacturing company to our region. We had a lot to offer Emerson Professional Tools such as a strong and willing workforce, affordable shovel-ready sites and a team of professionals who are ready to offer support,” said J.D. Lowery, Manager of Community and Economic Development for Arkansas Electric Cooperatives.

For example, the company received support from local colleges with their workforce training and recruitment. “Ozarka College has been very active in the hiring process and we worked on workforce classes to make sure that people had plenty of time to get the training they needed for some of the positions,” said Graycen Bigger, with the Northeast Arkansas Intermodal Authority (NEAIA).

Bigger spoke of additional support Emerson has received from the community at large. He described a team effort where the property owner, local real estate company, bank, city and county worked together to make it attractive for the company to locate in Ash Flat.

“Arkansas Electric Cooperatives offer support for any company looking to grow in our region. We encourage existing and prospective business owners to reach out for site selection assistance, help securing incentives and growing their workforce,” said Lowery. Email J.D. Lowery.

The level of support offered by Arkansas organizations is a benefit to any company. As is the proximity Arkansas offers to major markets. Emerson, for example, chose the Ash Flat location because it was only 140 miles from their Memphis Distribution Center. Craig Sumner, Emerson’s professional tools portfolio president, said in a statement, “This will allow for reduced lead times for shipping of products and materials, improvements in customer service and opportunities for growth while achieving operational excellence.”

“Arkansas is home to the world’s largest retailer for a reason. Our distribution access is simply unmatched,” said Lowery.

About Emerson Professional Tools

Emerson (NYSE: EMR), headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri (USA), is a global technology and engineering company providing innovative solutions for customers in industrial, commercial and residential markets. Our Automation Solutions business helps process, hybrid and discrete manufacturers maximize production, protect personnel and the environment while optimizing their energy and operating costs. Our Commercial and Residential Solutions business helps ensure human comfort and health, protect food quality and safety, advance energy efficiency, and create sustainable infrastructure. For more information, visit the Emerson website.