(Helena-West Helena, AR) Good news coming out of Helena-West Helena Arkansas.
Friday, Enviro Tech Chemical Services announced the company will invest 4-million dollars in a new manufacturing facility and add an additional 40 new jobs.
The announcement comes at a time when Phillips County is facing a 10.5 percent unemployment rate.
"We love small employers just as much as we love the large ones."
William Guiney, President of the Phillips County Port Authority, says Enviro Tech Chemical Services' decision to expand and hire 40 more employees is cause for celebration, "We are proud of the people of Phillips County and the surrounding counties who want to work."
Friday's announcement was important enough to bring Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe to Helena-West Helena.
The Governor said local leaders and the public made a good showing,
"That folks who make decisions for their own company's interests and for their own employees security and future and for their business said this is where they want to expand."
Enviro Tech manufactures a compound used to prevent disease-causing bacteria on meat and poultry.
The company has outgrown its present facility just south of Helena-West Helena
and will build a multi-million dollar plant near the Helena Harbor.
Enviro Tech President and CEO Mike Harvey says the company is making good on its promise to hire more people from the area, "Our company is driven by technology, but is powered by our people."
The new employees will bring the company's total to 70.
Melvin Frierson lives in Phillips County and is already on the payroll, "It's a great job, it means a lot to me."
Enviro Tech Operations Manager Whitney Reynolds says the new plant location, close to the Helena Harbor, has many benefits, "The raw materials are all within two hundred miles reach. So that saves the company money, shipping costs, it brings employment to the area."
Regardless of the number being hired, most people living in Phillips County are excited by some "good" news.
Jimmy Haynes owns a construction company and says everyone stands to gain from the plant's expansion, "It's like, people's got restaurants and stuff around here and that would help. You got forty people working, you got forty people who are going to be able to go out and eat."
In addition to the plant in Helena-West Helena, Enviro Tech Chemical Services has facilities in California and Illinois.