Plans to expand operations at the Remington Ammunition Plant at Lonoke is welcome news for city and business leaders. It is a real positive for Lonoke. This is good news for everyone around here," Lonoke Mayor Wayne McGee remarked. Remington Arms Co., LLC, announced the expansion plans in a press release on Thursday, May 9.
The release noted that work on the $32 million expansion, which would include the construction of a new building, is expected to begin during the second quarter of 2013. The expanded operation is planned to be completed and running by the second quarter of 2014.
McGee said he has few details of the expansion, but is confident it means additional jobs for the area. "I’m am glad to hear about it because it means more people can stay here in Lonoke," he said.
News of the expansion comes only weeks after start of construction on the new Interstate 40 interchange with Arkansas Highway 89 at Lonoke. City and business leaders had worked since the early 1990s for a new interchange to open access to the city’s industrial area.
Although the Remington plant, on Arkansas Highway 15, is not affected by the new interchange, some see the plant expansion as part of improving and growing economic development at Lonoke.
"[The expansion] is a great economic plus for Lonoke and Lonoke County," Lonoke Chamber of Commerce executive director John Garner said. He said he understands the expanded operation would be for "high-tech" ammunition.
"I don’t know what ‘high-tech ammunition’ is, but I understand that it means higher paying jobs," Garner said.
"This is part of a lot of good things happening in Lonoke, the new school, the fine arts auditorium, the gym. People are seeing this," Garner said. There have been more new homes built in the city in the past few months than he has seen in several years, he remarked.
In the announcement, Lonoke plant manager Jim Grahlmann said, "We are proud to provide job growth within communities that have supported us for so many years, while meeting the increasing global demand for superior ammunition products.
"This expansion reinforces our commitment to deliver the finest quality products for our customers."
Remington chief operating officer Kevin Miniard added that, "We continue to invest in all of our manufacturing operations because we are committed to ensuring quality, increasing product availability and improving on-time delivery."
"This significant investment in Lonoke is a testament to that commitment. Our customers can count on Remington to invest in its manufacturing operations in order to ensure that its facilities are state-of-the art and its employees are the best in the industry," Miniard said.
The Lonoke ammunition plant was established in 1969. The plant is a center for design and manufacture of ammunition products with superior craftsmanship. More information about Remington Ammunition can be found at http://www.remington.com/product-categories/ammunition.aspx