Gun distributor Umarex USA announced Thursday it is teaming up with Walther Arms, Inc. The companies plan to build a $7 million expansion and bring more than 100 jobs to Fort Smith.
“We have a good business environment here,” said Adam Blalock, President and CEO at Umarex USA and Walther Arms, Inc. “We have a lot of great people.”
Walther Arms, Inc. is moving some of its overseas business to Chaffee Crossing.
“The great thing about this is it's good news for a change,” said Ivy Owen, Executive Director of the Fort Chaffee Redevelopment Authority. “Announcements like this just prove that good things are happening in the River Valley. Jobs are being created every day. This is just really the icing on the cake.”
Together the gun companies hope to create between 70 and 120 new jobs over the next five years. They also plan to build a $7 million expansion.
“It's a really good day when we can announce new jobs and when you can announce that we're still making stuff in America specifically in Arkansas and Fort Smith,” said Governor Mike Beebe.
In June the Whirlpool plant in Fort Smith closed down after 45 years of operation, leaving nearly 1,000 people without jobs.
Governor Beebe told 5NEWS he is proud of the city for working to create jobs.
“Fort Smith has really continued to bounce back and fight through tough times that have hit manufacturers probably harder than any segment of the American economy,” said Governor Beebe.
Umarex USA expects the expansion to take place in phases.
Umarex USA built their facility at Chaffee Crossing in 2008. The company says since then their sales have quadrupled.