Manufacturers Look To Arkansas As Home For Future Growth

Manufacturers Trex, Arning will establish new manufacturing sites in the state, creating upwards of 600 jobs in the coming years.

Trex, a leading manufacturer of wood-alternative composite decking, will invest more than $400 million to develop a new multi-faceted production site in Little Rock, AR. The site, which will be the company’s third production facility in the U.S., is expected to create more than 500 jobs over the coming years.

“This new site represents a strategic investment not only in our company’s future but in the future success of our valued channel partners,” said Trex Company President and CEO Bryan Fairbanks. “With the outdoor living category continuing to show strong momentum and our success to-date in converting share from the wood decking market, the time is right to further expand our capacity so that we can meet future customer demand efficiently and effectively.”

Trex, which continues to experience broad-based demand driven by increasing consumer interest in outdoor living, believes that building a third U.S.-based manufacturing facility will enable the company to provide customers significantly better access to Trex Residential products, and position the company for future growth.

Photo: Arkansas EDC

“This is an exciting day for the city of Little Rock and all of Central Arkansas,” said Governor Asa Hutchinson. “Trex is highly regarded as the world’s premier composite decking company, and it is with great pleasure that we welcome them to Arkansas. The company was looking at several locations, but Arkansas stood out thanks to its dedicated workforce, competitive business environment, location and superb quality of life.”

“The jobs created by Trex will significantly enhance our economic climate,” the governor added. “I look forward to watching Trex grow and succeed in the coming years.”

Based on the company’s search parameters, Little Rock emerged as the best fit for Trex’s immediate and future needs, with a location closer to essential raw materials, a strong pool of qualified and skilled labor, and proximity to key growth regions for wood conversion. Little Rock also offers adjacency to major transportation hubs that will offer optimized freight costs for customers in the middle of the country, who are presently served by existing facilities in Virginia and Nevada.

Adding capacity also positions the company to better serve its distribution and retail partners domestically and abroad.

“This expansion provides Trex with important competitive advantages in today’s dynamic outdoor living market,” emphasized Fairbanks. “It will afford us the ability to flex with demand by adding capacity as needed. Having multiple manufacturing sites also helps mitigate risk while providing bandwidth to pursue new opportunities that will enable us to further leverage our unsurpassed brand recognition and expand our presence both domestically and internationally.”

Trex expects to begin construction its new Arkansas site in early 2022. The campus will sit on nearly 300 acres of land, and will eventually include buildings dedicated to decking and railing production, plastic film recycling and processing, reclaimed wood storage, warehousing, and administrative offices. The campus will substantially expand output, and will have the potential to be the company’s largest manufacturing facility. The development approach will be modular and calibrated to demand trends, with the first production output anticipated in 2024.

Arning To Open Manufacturing Facility In Clarksville, Create 125 Jobs

Arning Companies, a manufacturer of metal fuel canopies and custom awnings for restaurants and other businesses, will open a facility in Clarksville, AR. Arning will invest over $5 million in the new site, and will create 125 new jobs over five years.

“For many years the construction industry has faced a variety of challenges ranging from a lack of skilled labor to onsite delays and disruptions,” said Arning President and Chief Operating Officer Ryan Stockton. “Our expansion into Clarksville will give us the much-needed space to further develop our off-site modular construction programs.”

Headquartered in Cassville, MO, Arning’s expansion into Clarksville comes as a result of the growth of a smaller product line due to new contracts and increased sales. Since its creation 38 years ago, Arning has developed a reputation as an industry leader in design, engineering, and fabrication.

“I believe Arning Companies will be a great business partner in Arkansas, and I’m excited to welcome them to our state,” said Gov. Hutchinson. “They bring a wealth of quality and experience in the metal and fabrication industry, as well as the same hometown service-with-a-smile that Arkansans know and appreciate. Their investment in the Clarksville community will go a long way into changing the lives of many in the area.”

Arning has purchased an existing 168,000-square-foot facility, and the company’s investment includes the cost of the building, improvements, and new machinery and equipment. The company expects the project to be completed by the end of February 2022.

“Arning Companies’ decision to locate in Clarksville demonstrates the confidence the company has in our workforce and business climate,” said Arkansas Department of Commerce Secretary Mike Preston. “Arkansas is widely known as having the resources and talent required for companies to get products to market quickly and efficiently, something that is even more necessary with today’s supply chain challenges. It will be a pleasure to work with them and watch them continue down their path of success.”

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