Eakas breaks ground on auto parts plant

40 acres of land along Highway 1 in Wynne, Arkansas will soon become a place known as "work" for hundreds of Mid-Southerners. A new automotive parts plant will bring more than 250 jobs to the area. A Japanese company broke ground Thursday on a plant in Wynne, Arkansas. The plant brings new hope to a city that has been struggling with plant closings and layoffs. Wynne residents were talking about a new vision and a new hope for an economic turn around. The applause is for a new partnership that will turn a Wynne, Arkansas field into the new Eakas Manufacturing plant. Larry Castelli, Eakas Corporation said, "We'll make different mirrors for it, we'll make side molding, we'll make interior parts, hydroponics parts." Bill Thomas, Economic Development Corp. said, "We expect within 4 to 5 years, we expect to be able to employ upwards of 3 to 400 employees." And company officials say after their plant is built hourly salaries at the new facility will be in the$ 9 and up range. That's a welcome relief to a city that has suffered a rash of recent plant closing and layoffs. Attracting the Japanese businessmen to Wynne took a lot of incentives. Local leaders built a new water tower, added a sewer infrastructure and made other changes to make the plant site more attractive. However Arkansas leaders feel more than incentives made Eakas pick Wynne over several other cities. Lt. Gov. Win Rockefeller said, "Incentives are just the icing on the cake, you've got to have good cake, you've got to have a quality workforce, you got to have a good site, you have got to be at a place where they can do business." The corporation also has a plant in Peru, Illinois. The Wynne facility is expected to open for business in February of next year.