As I reported a few months ago, Remington is planning to expand their ammunition manufacturing plant in Lonoke, Arkansas. Yesterday, they held their ground-breaking ceremony. It attracted the politicians as both Gov. Mike Beebe (D-AR) and US Senator Mark Pryor (D-AR) spoke. I’m sure as Democrats in an increasingly red state they wanted to be perceived as pro-gun. Pryor, by the way, was one of the few Democrats to vote against Manchin-Toomey.
The plant expansion is a $32 million project and is expected to be operational somewhere around mid-year 2014.
Remington Plant Manager Jim Grahlmann declined to comment on the purpose of the new facility, for competitive purposes, he said. Grahlmann added that while he couldn’t be specific, the new plant will add 50-100 “relatively high skill positions.”
He added that some of those jobs may be offered to current employees of the plant, depending on their qualifications.
Grahlmann said the new addition to the plant will be 35,000 square feet and should be constructed by June 2014, though he is unsure of when it will officially open, due to the company having to move the equipment into the facility.
While the plant manager is being a little closed mouthed about the purpose of the new facility, the PR department of Remington was not so reticent.
The Remington expansion will help meet consumer demand for quality ammunition products at a time when many sportsmen and gun owners are struggling to find supply. Further, it will stimulate both the state and local economy.
“This groundbreaking ceremony marks a significant event for Remington and for the Lonoke community,” said George Kollitides, Chief Executive Officer of Remington. “It demonstrates our commitment to state-of-the-art facilities; ensuring quality, increasing product availability and improving on-time delivery to our customers. The expansion also allows us the opportunity to provide job growth within a community that has supported us since we laid the first cornerstone here in 1969. We are honored and pleased to celebrate this expansion with such great partners.”
I really did like one comment that Gov. Beebe made regarding supporting expansion versus only recruiting new businesses.
“As we strive to create new relationships with new partners, we must never forget the ones we already have,” said Gov. Mike Beebe in reference to helping an existing manufacturer. “It is so much easier to expand existing business than it is to create new ones.”
THV Channel 11 has more on the ground-breaking below. I do want to correct one mistake that anchor Craig O’Neill made. He stated that Remington was the only company to make both firearms and ammunition. That is incorrect. ATK which makes Federal Ammuniton would also fit in that category with its acquisition earlier this year of Savage Arms.