PINE BLUFF, Ark. (KTHV) -- On the heels of a successful sales tax increase to build economic development, Jefferson County gets an early boost from one of Pine Bluff's long-time companies.
Central Moloney recently announced expansion plans bringing about 200 new jobs.
Central Moloney began operating in Pine Bluff back in 1949. They manufacture transformer units for utility companies like Entergy. And workers say this latest expansion needed news for the community.
Theophilus Smith is a manufacturing supervisor at Central Moloney in Pine Bluff. He started at the transformer plant 11 years ago on the assembly line, nabbing a dream job.
"As a young guy, I always used to pass through and always wanted to come here," Smith said.
It was good opportunity with ups and downs along the way. But this week a major "up."
"This is big news for the community. You know a lot of jobs have moved away. We needed to hear that," Smith said.
The company plans a 150,000 square-foot addition here with lots of new jobs included.
"Once construction is complete and we are fully operational, we intend to add 200 jobs to the local economy," Chris Hart said.
Hart is Central Moloney's Vice President of Personnel and Community Relations.
"We know the market will eventually rebound and we want to be prepared," Hart said.
Preparing for the future, with some gains to capitalize on from these leaner times.
"We've done a good job at capturing our market and so we've got new customers and new products that we are providing," Hart said.
While construction won't start until late this year or early 2012, Hart's still hoping this news catches companies eyeing Jefferson County.
"Not only are we committed but we're looking to add a stable base for them to come and spring board off of," Hart said.
An expand beyond these assembly lines, lines Smith sees as more than just a paycheck.
"I always tell my workers, this is a place where you can raise a family," Hart said.
Hart says some hiring should start this summer to begin training and they'll ramp up from there until the expansion is complete at the end of next year.
Hart says interested parties should start by contacting the Arkansas Workforce Center in Pine Bluff.
Last month, Jefferson County voters approved a sales tax increase exclusively for economic development efforts.
We're told they'll begin collecting those funds July 1.