ARKADELPHIA – The Economic Development Corporation of Clark County (EDCCC) recently awarded McKenzie Farms Excavating and Trucking an incentive of $63,000 for an expansion project located in Gurdon, Arkansas creating 21 new jobs. To secure the project in Clark County, the EDCCC awarded McKenzie Farms local job creation incentive funds contingent upon meeting employment and payroll targets.
“I would like to thank the EDCCC and its leadership for the financial support for our new expansion at Gurdon,” said Mike McKenzie, owner of McKenzie Farms. “We were looking at two sites – one in a neighboring county and the other in Gurdon at the old Anthony Higgs sawmill. Shelley Short, the EDCCC and the Alliance were extremely responsive and let it be known they wanted the jobs in Clark County and worked with us to make that happen.”
The expansion project involves two new business lines – specialty pallet manufacturing and wood post manufacturing and Scragg mill – with plans to hire an additional 35 employees over the next three to five years as additional contracts are obtained. Capital investment by the company is conservatively estimated at $922,000 which includes purchase of the facility in Gurdon, equipment, building construction, and infrastructure improvements.
“We are thrilled that McKenzie Farms’ wood mill operation is expanding in Clark County, providing jobs, training, and hope for those needing an opportunity to make a better life for themselves and their family,” said Shelley Short, CEO of the EDCCC. “Being able to breathe new life into a shuttered location while providing second chance employment and job skills training for those in recovery is the icing on the cake.”
Currently employing 58 individuals at their pallet mill operation in Gurdon, McKenzie Farms’ operation has as a central component the ability to provide second chance employment opportunities and job training for those participating in recovery ministries throughout the area.
“My entire team wants to thank the EDCCC and the citizens of Clark County for the ongoing support of our businesses and vision,” said McKenzie.
Clark County and Gurdon are members of the Southwest Arkansas Regional Intermodal Authority.