Two manufacturing companies — FMH Conveyors in Jonesboro and Bekaert in Rogers — with an existing presence in Arkansas announced plans for expansion on March 23.
FMH Conveyors Expansion
FMH Conveyors, a global leader in material handling equipment for fluid truck loading and unloading applications, is expanding its operations in Jonesboro, which will include construction on a new 195,000-square-foot manufacturing facility, a $12.5 million investment that will create 110 new jobs.
“FMH Conveyors has experienced tremendous growth over the past several years, and our success is greatly attributed to our commitment to meeting our customers’ equipment and service requirements,” said Mike Kachmer, president and CEO of Duravant, the parent company of FMH Conveyors. “We are investing accordingly to ensure the highest standards of quality and delivery for our customers, and we are excited to build upon the local talent, resources and partnerships available here in Arkansas.”
FMH Conveyors is a member of the Duravant family of operating companies. Duravant acquired their FMH Conveyors-Jonesboro business in 2012, which has been manufacturing products locally for more than 30 years.
“FMH Conveyors is a world-class company that has had a presence in Arkansas for many years,” said Gov. Asa Hutchinson. “The fact they chose to expand their operations in Jonesboro is testament to the quality of the local, existing workforce. We appreciate the significant investment FMH Conveyors is making in Arkansas and look forward to the company’s continued success and growth.”
FMH Conveyors designs, manufactures, installs and services a range of custom engineered conveyors for many of the world’s largest e-commerce companies, retail stores, parcel service providers, distribution centers and manufacturers across multiple industries.
“This expansion is great news for our community,” said Mark Young, president and CEO of the Jonesboro Regional Chamber of Commerce. “We appreciate the continued investment in Jonesboro and our partnership with FMH Conveyors.”
In Rogers, Bekaert‘s expansion will add 50 percent production capacity and 100 new jobs, through a gradual implementation.
The Rogers plant opened in 1989 and produces steel cord for the tire industry. Bekaert projects continued strong and growing demand from the tire manufacturers based in the U.S. as a result of the expansion programs of the tire manufacturers in the country and of their preference to source domestically produced tire cord. To accommodate for the projected growth, Bekaert is adding an additional 50 percent production capacity to its Rogers plant. The expansion will be gradually implemented and will add over 100 new jobs.
Bekaert CEO Matthew Taylor said, “Our expansion plans fit within Bekaert’s strategy to drive growth in this very important sector. We are committed and dedicated to creating value for our customers and we are expanding the Rogers plant to contribute to the growth of the North American based tire makers.”
“Bekaert is a company with a global presence and could have chosen to expand at any location throughout the world,” said Hutchinson. “The fact that we are here today celebrating this expansion displays Arkansas’ continued momentum in job creation. Bekaert’s decision to grow in the state is a recognition that Arkansas is prepared to compete and win in job creation.”
Rogers Mayor Greg Hines said, “It is always a great day in Rogers when we get to make expansion and job creation announcements. We are very excited about Bekaert’s upcoming expansion program and the jobs it will create that benefit not just Rogers, but the entire region.”
Raymond Burns, president and CEO of the Rogers-Lowell Area Chamber of Commerce, added, “This is very personal to me as I worked on the project to bring Bekaert to Rogers originally. It’s great to see them having success, expanding and creating more jobs for our area. Bekaert has been a long-standing partner and supporter of the Rogers-Lowell Area Chamber of Commerce as well as all of Northwest Arkansas, and we are happy to be here celebrating with them today. We wish them continued success.”