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From Site Selection magazine, July 2017

Small Ponds Will Soon Be Home to Some Big Fish

Whitaker Point in the Upper Buffalo Wilderness, Arkansas
Photo: Getty Images


Two projects announced in recent weeks will generate approximately 1,150 new jobs in the two Arkansas towns that won them. TeleTech is hiring at least 350 in Morrilton, where it will open a customer experience center. TeleTech Holdings, Inc. is a global provider of customer experience, engagement and growth solutions delivered through a proprietary end-to-end customer engagement as a service offering. TeleTech already has a customer experience center in Sherwood, Arkansas. The Morrilton location will serve as a satellite and extension of that facility, supporting customer experiences for TeleTech’s healthcare clients. 

“It cannot be underestimated the impact these 350 positions will have on the economy in Morrilton and surrounding area,” said Mike Preston, executive director of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission. “This lays the groundwork for additional economic growth and is a testament to the strength and reputation of the local workforce. Thanks to TeleTech for continuing to invest in Arkansas.”

Shandong Ruyi Technology Group (Ruyi) announced in May that it will invest $410 million in the former Sanyo manufacturing facility in Forrest City, Arkansas. Ruyi, headquartered in Shandong Province, China, will create up to 800 new jobs at the facility, where Arkansas cotton will be spun into yarn for textile use. This is Ruyi’s first facility to locate in North America.

“Ruyi Group, as the largest textile manufacturer in China, has been expanding globally,” said Chairman Yafu Qui. “Our manufacturing facility in Arkansas will become the first milestone of Ruyi’s steps into the United States. We are dedicated to provide the product with cutting edge technology and superior quality.” 

Ruyi’s renovations on the former Sanyo building are scheduled to begin in late 2017. The Sanyo facility has been vacant since late 2007 when the company shut down production in Forrest City. The company will process more than 200,000 tons of Arkansas cotton annually at the facility. Production should begin by mid-2018. The project is eligible for up to $4 million in grants, depending on job creation; Ruyi will receive an annual cash rebate that is equal to 5 percent of total payroll associated with the new jobs created for ten years. A tax measure provides sales tax refunds on building materials, taxable machinery and equipment associated with the project.

Mark Arend
Editor in Chief of Site Selection magazine

Mark Arend

Mark Arend has been editor in chief of Site Selection magazine since 2001. Prior to joining the editorial staff in 1997, he worked for 10 years in New York City at Wall Street Computer Review, ABA Banking Journal and Global Investment Technology. Mark graduated from the University of Hartford (Conn.) in 1985 and lives near Atlanta, Georgia.


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