Arconic to add 35 jobs next year

This aerial photo shows the Arconic Inc. rolling mill in Nash, Texas. (Submitted photo)

 Arconic aluminum, formerly Alcoa, has announced it will add about 35 jobs around January 2019 when it restarts idled equipment with a $14 million investment from the company.

The equipment finishes rolled aluminum sheet used for industrial products.

"This investment is a great opportunity to capture near-term opportunities in high-growth markets," said Tim Myers, president of Arconic's Global Rolled Products and Transportation and Construction Solutions businesses. "By restarting Texarkana's existing equipment, we are able to quickly ramp up to provide additional value-add products for our customers."

Engineering for the project is under way, and work is expected to begin this month. The project, which includes restarting finishing equipment, is expected to ramp up in the first quarter of next year.

"Restarting the equipment involves testing and repairing where needed, making computer system and electrical upgrades and optimizing functionality once equipment is fully operational," said Tracie Gliozzi, company spokesperson.

The plant already employs 80 people and has been operating since 2015, when it reopened.

Several local civic entities were involved in encouraging Arconic to expand its operations, including the Texarkana Chamber of Commerce, Bowie County, the city of Nash, Texas, and officials from Texarkana, Texas.

Jerry Sparks, director of economic development for Texarkana, Texas, emphasized the team effort.

"It was all about coming up with incentives that matched the company's business plan," Sparks said. "Sure, the local governments have things to offer a company considering setting up shop or expanding, but it has to fit their plans. They also have to consider local facilities and the available workforce."

Texarkana, Texas, was able to team up with the other municipal entities to make it happen.

"It was an opportunity for Texarkana, Texas, Nash and Bowie to combine resources and benefit all," Sparks said.

Doug Bowers, city administrator for Nash, Texas, said, "We worked together and got it done."

He added things have been great since the Arconic plant resumed operations, and Nash is a growing entity, economically speaking.

"We started up a business park in the early 2000s and things have been booming since," he said. "The Arconic plant is an addition to that ongoing success, but is central and we are grateful as a community. The Arconic family has been good to Nash and we look forward to more."

Arconic, until late 2016, was the parts-manufacturing division of aluminum giant Alcoa, according to online economic news site, The Motley Fool. In the year and a half since it was spun off, the company has been underperforming expectations, which has increased since President Donald Trump began his trade war efforts. The stock lowering in value makes the company, according to some analysts, a tempting target for a buyout.