Above: A look inside a Dassault Falcon Jet Corp facility. Dassault Falcon's Little Rock location ranks as Arkansas' second-largest manufacturing company. (Image source: Dassault Falcon Jet Corp)
Looking to do business in Arkansas? If you're specifically targeting manufacturers in Arkansas, having a deep understanding of the state's manufacturing climate can help.
Today, we're exploring some key facts and insights on Arkansas manufacturing and providing information on the ten largest factories in the state.
According to MNI, Springdale is Arkansas’ largest city based on industrial employment, home to 13,266 workers. This is followed by Little Rock with 11,486 jobs.
Read more: Top Manufacturing Cities in the U.S.
Other top cities in Arkansas include
• Fort Smith (10,560 jobs)
• Jonesboro (6,781 jobs)
• Rogers (6,273 jobs)
Benton County is Arkansas’ largest in terms of industrial jobs, home to 30,697 workers. This is followed by Pulaski County (25,414), Washington (18,748), and Sebastian County (11,949).
Taking a look at the state’s top industries, food processing accounts for a quarter of the Arkansas’ manufacturing employment.
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The apparel and textiles industry accounts for another 10% of the state's industrial employment, while industrial machinery and fabricated metals each represent another 8% of Arkansas' manufacturing jobs.
MNI reports there are 11,615 executive contacts among Arkansas’ manufacturing companies, including 1,268 presidents, 1,096 owners and partners; 663 vice-presidents and 804 sales, marketing and purchasing executives.
Other facts to know about Arkansas manufacturers, based on IndustrySelect’s advanced criteria available to subscribers, include ownership, distribution and other trends. Let’s take a look:
• 2% of Arkansas manufacturers are women-owned
• 12% are publicly owned companies
• 10% import raw materials
• 21% distribute their products internationally.
Next, we’ll take a look at the state’s top companies.
|Tyson Foods, Inc.||3,000||Springdale||AR|
|Dassault Falcon Jet Corp.||1,800||Little Rock||AR|
|Cooper Tire & Rubber Co.||1,760||Texarkana||AR|
|ABB, Inc.||1,675||Fort Smith||AR|
|Tyson Chicken, Inc.||1,600||Pine Bluff||AR|
|Tyson Chicken, Inc.||1,550||Green Forest||AR|
|McKee Foods Corp.||1,500||Gentry||AR|
|Pilgrim's Pride Corp.||1,450||De Queen||AR|
|American Greetings Corp.||1,400||Osceola||AR|
|Cargill Meat Solutions Corp.||1,400||Springdale||AR|
1. Tyson Foods (Springdale, AR)
A global food manufacturing giant, Tyson employs 141,000 workers globally. The company’s Springdale facility employs 3,000 and operates as the company’s headquarters. Its production facility processes chicken, beef, pork, plant-based meat substitutes and prepared foods.
2. Dassault Falcon Jet Corp. (Little Rock, AR)
A major Arkansas industrial employer with 1,800 employees, Dassault Falcon Jet Corp is the only company worldwide that produces both fighter jets and business aircraft.
3. Cooper Tire & Rubber (Texarkana, AR)
Established in 1914 in Akron Ohio, Cooper Tire & Rubber is the world’s 13th largest tire manufacturer with operations on three continents, employing 10,000 worldwide. The company’s main focus is on passenger car and light vehicle replacement tires. The Texarakana site is Arkansas’ third-largest industrial employer with 1,760 workers.
4. ABB, Inc. (Fort Smith, AR)
ABB is a worldwide leader specializing in automation solutions, robotics and electrical equipment based in Zurich, Switzerland. The Fort Smith location serves as the company’s headquarters for the U.S. Motors and Generators Unit which specializes in industrial electric motors and mechanical power transmission products. This location operated as Baldor Electric Company, prior to a 2018 merger with ABB and currently employs 1,675.
5. Tyson Chicken, Inc. (Pine Bluff, AR)
Ranking fourth in the state with 1,600 employees, Tyson Chicken’s Pine Bluff facility is the second-largest of the many Tyson plants in the state. This facility focuses on chicken processing.
6. Tyson Chicken, Inc. (Green Forest, AR)
An additional Tyson Chicken plant, this one in Green Forest, also ranks among the state’s largest manufacturing facilities with 1,550 workers. Tyson is a major employer in the state and also ranks as the world’s second-largest meat producer, after JBS. The company has an annual revenue of $42.4 billion.
7. McKee Foods Corp (Gentry, AR)
Employing 1,500 in Gentry, AR, McKee Foods is a family-owned baker that makes snack cakes, granola bars and other bakery goods, including the famous Little Debbie snack cakes. The company was founded in 1934 by OD and Ruth McKee, who started out by selling 5-cent “Virginia Dare” cakes. Today the company has locations in four U.S. states, including Arkansas.
8. Pilgrim’s Pride Corp (De Queen, AR)
Owned by food corporation giant JBS, Pilgrim’s Pride is one of the largest chicken processors in the United States, employing 37,000 worldwide. The company’s De Queen location focuses on chicken processing and employs 1,450.
9. American Greetings Corp. (Osceola, AR)
You love to receive that birthday card, but have you thought about where it was made? Rounding out our top ten list is American Greetings Corp, which employs 1,400 workers at a printing plant in Osceola.
10. Cargill Meat Solutions Corp (Springdale, AR)
Cargill Meat Solutions Corp is a food processing company located in Springdale, Arkansas . The company was established in 1975 and has a production and distribution facility spanning over 250,000 square feet . Employing 1,400, this facility primarily focuses on turkey processing
Interested in other states? Browse all of our state news here.
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Editor's note: This article was originally published in May of 2021. It is updated annually to reflect new statistics and trends in Arkansas' manufacturing sector.