Big River Steel Reveals Big Plans In Arkansas

Arkansas State Capitol Governor Mike Beebe addresses a Senate Committee of the Whole regarding the Big River Steel Project.
Arkansas State Capitol Governor Mike Beebe addresses a Senate Committee of the Whole regarding the Big River Steel Project.

On January 29, 2013, Big River Steel, LLC , announced plans to build a more than $1 billion steel mill in Mississippi County, AR. The project will directly employ more than 500 people in the largest economic development project in the state’s history.

In addition to the 500+ direct jobs, the steel mill near Osceola will create approximately 2,000 construction jobs as well. “Many more permanent jobs will potentially be created by related businesses, such as suppliers and customers that decide to locate near the new mill,” according to an article in

The article continues, “This part of Arkansas, which has long suffered from high unemployment and a dwindling population, will benefit greatly from this new economic engine. Before this deal is finalized, the Legislature must approve the project.”

Once the project is in operation, Mississippi County will become the second largest steel producer in the country. Big River Steel’s CEO, John Correnti singled out the site for its access to river, rail, road, and energy sources. He also applauded the state’s economic development team as “the best in the nation.”

They represent our State with an outstanding level of professionalism and present Arkansas in the attractive light it deserves. They’re also diverse in their hard work. While the Big River Steel announcement was historic, it wasn’t the only good news that AEDC helped come to fruition this week.

We also announced the arrival of an Internet marketing and technology company to Conway. The company, called Inuvo, will move its corporate headquarters from New York to the Natural State. Within four years, Inuvo expects to create 50 high-paying jobs for highly skilled Arkansans.

While both companies will pay their employees well above the average wage in Arkansas, Inuvo and Big River Steel seek Arkansans with very different skill sets. This demonstrates that we are successfully showing business leaders throughout the country that we have a diverse workforce ready for new jobs.

Arkansas will continue our tradition as a well-suited center for manufacturing and will continue attracting companies like Big River Steel. But as the economy has become more knowledge-based, Arkansas’s workforce has changed with it and will also attract more technology companies, like Inuvo. These two announcements made for a great week in Arkansas and signal the even greater future that awaits our State.