Company plans to employ 440 at former Air Force base - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Company plans to employ 440 at former Air Force base

BLYTHEVILLE, Ark. (AP) - An aircraft maintenance operation will be located at the Arkansas Aeroplex, the site of the former Eaker Air Force Base, and eventually employ 440 people.

State economic development officials say Aviation Repair Technologies is planning to invest 20 million dollars in the maintenance facility, using hangars and other buildings at the former air base. ART is a subsidiary of Aero Maintenance Group, based in Miami.

Officials say workers will receive an average salary of about 20 dollars per hour.

The company plans to begin operations in June, initially employing about 30 people. After gearing up to full capacity with 310 workers by 2011, Chitwood said, a second phase would expand the operation to about 440 jobs.

Another 450 people work at other companies at the former base.

Officials say the state has committed another 1 million dollars in "up front" money from the Governors Quick Closing Fund to help pay for hangar repairs -- about 2 million dollars.

Local money for the county's incentive package came from a ½-cent sales tax approved by Mississippi County voters in 2003, Chitwood said.


(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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