FORREST CITY, Ark. (KTHV) -- The China-based textile company, Shandong Ruyi Technology Group, is coming to Arkansas and plans to create up to 800 new jobs.
The company is investing $410 million into the vacant Sanyo facility in Forrest City. The Governor, along with representatives from Shandong Ruyi Technology Group, announced the news in a Wednesday afternoon press conference. Governor Hutchinson said this is the largest jobs announcement for the Delta area in recent history.
Shandong Ruyi is the largest textile manufacturer in China. They said they want to focus on using Arkansas Cotton for textile use. They plan to purchase over 200,000 tons of Arkansas Cotton each year.
The governor said this is a huge deal for the Delta area, which has been lagging economically with higher unemployment rates. The company plans to have starting wages of $15.25 an hour and will likely surpass providing 800 jobs through indirect employment opportunities.
Governor Hutchinson said Arkansas has made a name for itself in China's garment and textile industry and he hopes to bring in more businesses from China into Arkansas over time. The Ruyi deal, he said, is one that's been in the works for a while now.
“This is something I've had in mind for over a year and after I saw what they produce in China, this is beautiful apparel that they produce, I know that will look even greater in Arkansas cotton,” said Governor Hutchinson.
The state is giving up to $4 million in cash incentives to the company along with up to $11 million in payroll rebates to support the project. All state money is based on the company's performance.
The company will begin renovations to the former Sanyo building in Forrest City later this year. Production should begin at the facility by mid-2018. The former Sanyo building has been vacant since 2007.