Harrison, Ark., city leaders award $100,000 grants to 2 manufacturers
HARRISON, Ark. (KY3) - The Harrison City Council awarded economic development grants for Pace Industries and North Arkansas College (NAC).
City leaders awarded each $100,000 for manufacturing equipment and job creation. The city announced that $325,000 in grants were available in July, coming from the “quarter of a quarter-cent” sales tax approved by voters inside the Creekside Community Center project.
“Pace is a mainstay here in Harrison. It was started here and is a top ten employer in Boone County,” said Bob Largent, with the Harrison Economic Development Commission. “The college also plays a crucial role in manufacturing development and creating a constant workforce to fill positions.”
Pace recently announced new production at its Harrison location, doing casting work for one of its largest customers Harley Davidson.
“This is going to help us get an even stronger foothold and what it will do for us is allow us to bring in about 25 additional jobs, creating about $20 million in sales,” said Mike Bakaric, general manager with Pace Harrison. “With this being a bigger stronghold for us here in Harrison, this aids in giving us a competitive advantage going forward.”
Bakaric says the money will pay for additional equipment needed to supply products to its customer and give needed training to current employees.
NAC is in the process of developing a new center for manufacturing robotics, an $8 million project that has received funding through several avenues, now including the city.
“Research shows that 90% of community college students stay within 50 miles of the community. That’s why they choose to go to a community college,” said Micki Somers, NAC director of public relations. “We’re uniquely positioned to educate those students and train them so that they come back to work in the community and fill those high-level wage jobs in industries around us.”
City leaders say the Harrison City Council is diligent in ensuring funds go directly toward manufacturing development. Money will be paid directly to invoices for equipment and projects.
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