(The Center Square) – Ammunition manufacturer Fiocchi announced Tuesday it is expanding operations in Arkansas, creating 125 new jobs.
The Italian-based company, which already has one site in Arkansas, said the new expansion in the Port of Little Rock would represent a $42 million investment.
“This is the second development we have started to create here and it is not, for sure, the last one,” said CEO Maurizio Negro.
Outgoing Gov. Asa Hutchinson said expanding the firearms and ammunition industry has been a priority and target industry of his administration and touted the 125 new jobs the expansion will bring.
“That tells you that we need a workforce, we need to expand our workforce, and they’re representing the growth in their industry and their company,” said Hutchinson.
Secretary of Commerce Mike Preston said Fiocchi looked at five locations in three states before selecting the Port of Little Rock and said the state’s pro-firearm industry culture played a role in the company’s selection of Arkansas to continue expanding.
“This governor, with this announcement today, we are now over 500 announced economic development projects under his administration. That’s resulted in over $14 billion dollars in capital investment. And today, as opposed to January of 2015 when he took office, we have 125,000 more Arkansans working today,” Preston said.
Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott Jr., who was also present for the announcement, said he is committed to continued land acquisition for the Little Rock Port Authority to continue to grow the city.
“Our jobs growth plays a vital role in our city, so we’re excited about the 8,000 jobs that we’ve had the ability to announce over these past four years. We’re grateful that we want to double/triple that going forward,” Scott said.
Though Fiocchi was founded in Italy, approximately 80% of the company’s products that are sold in the U.S. are loaded in either Little Rock or Ozark, Missouri, according to Fiocchi’s website.
“Sometimes multinational companies doing business in Italy and the U.S. do not find a very great balance and a very great fit in culture and management style. And we found it. This is a key of success,” said Negro.