Community Shocked Over HVAC Plant Leaving Fort Smith

FORT SMITH (KFSM)—Many people are in shock after the announcement that Trane Inc. will be leaving it’s Fort Smith facility.

“I think it’s a huge blow to the local economy here,” said resident Nicholas Scott.

Larry Clark, a partner of a local insurance agency, agreed.

“It's disappointing of course,” he said. “We don't need to lose any more jobs.”

He said the plant has quite a bit of history in Fort Smith.

“That plant goes back a long way because it was General Electric before Trane,” Clark said “It's been here a long time.”

A spokesperson for the company that owns Trane said they employ about 250 people at that plant.

“It takes a significant hit for the citizens and the people who actually reside here in Fort Smith,” Scott said.

Clark said he believes the impact will be widespread.

“It's a snowball effect,” he said. “It effects suppliers and people throughout the economy.”

Clark also acknowledged the fact the manufacturing industry is changing.

“It's a very competitive game and you have to have incentives,” he said.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson has been working to bring plants to Fort Smith and Arkansas, but many are still shocked to see Trane go.