Roby Brock says Heber Springs will get some new jobs from a French-owned auto parts maker. A dividend from Gov. Beebe's excellent European adventure? Might as well say so. (Just don't mention the loss of aircraft manufacturing jobs since then.)
Viva le trade missions. But industries generally add jobs where they think they are best situated to operate most profitably and efficiently, not because of glad-handing and soft soap.
UPDATE: The $14 million expansion of an existing facility will create 250 jobs.
Heber Springs, Arkansas (January 15, 2010) – Saint Jean Industries, an auto parts manufacturer and supplier, today announced it will expand its manufacturing plant in Heber Springs, creating approximately 250 new jobs. The company will invest $14 million in the expansion.
Yves Mayet, who has been SJI, Inc.’s General Manager for the past two years in Heber Springs, states: “First, I would like to thank the entire staff of the Heber Springs plant. Thanks for their efforts during the year 2009 and we can look forward to a very promising future. I would also like to thank the community of Heber Springs for the very warm welcome we have received and especially its representatives, Jackie McPherson and Jim Jackson for their great support. Finally, I thank Governor Beebe and his team whose good will and responsiveness allow us to continue our development and job creation. All of you are part of the American dream and I am proud today to be with you in this dream. God bless America.”
Saint Jean manufactures high quality aluminum parts for the automotive industry at its Heber Springs facility. The expansion is a result of several significant orders placed with the company. These orders came from companies such as ZF, a large German supplier to the automotive industry, which placed orders for General Motors and Ford.
Governor Mike Beebe met with Saint Jean’s leadership team on his recent European business and trade trip.
“This expansion is happening in Heber Springs because of the work ethic and spirit of the Heber Springs workforce,” Beebe said. “While Arkansas always works to make our State an attractive place to locate or expand a business, it is the local employees who determine the success of our economic-development endeavors.”
Saint Jean also has manufacturing facilities in France, Croatia and Germany.
Before the expansion of new business, Saint Jean employed 180 people. This expansion will bring total employment to more than 430 people.
“We’re so proud of this expansion and the relationship we’ve built with Saint Jean,” said Heber Springs Mayor Jackie McPherson. “This is encouraging news for Heber Springs, Cleburne County and the State of Arkansas. We look forward to Saint Jean’s continued success, along with all of our existing industries.”
Those interested in employment opportunities can apply at the plant or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information visit Saint Jean Industries at www.st-ji.com/en/home.html or contact Saint Jean Industries, Inc. at 501-362-9500.