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OPED Announces Workforce Training

OPED Announces Payment of Workforce Training Incentive

Representatives from the Ouachita Partnership for Economic Development (OPED) board of directors, SAU Tech, and Aerojet Rocketdyne officials met at the OPED offices for a check presentation ceremony on Monday, January 11 at 2:00 p.m. The ceremony reflects the payment of workforce training incentives to Aerojet Rocketdyne under an agreement executed with the company in 2018 by the OPED Board of Directors.

On October 30, 2018, Aerojet Rocketdyne executed an economic development incentives contract with OPED to create one hundred forty-one (141) net new jobs at their Camden, Arkansas facility in conjunction with new investment in building construction and equipment. Under the terms of OPED's Industry Incentive Program, OPED agreed to pay Aerojet Rocketdyne within the contract's three-year term for SAU Tech's workforce training. At their regular meeting of May 23, 2018, the OPED Board of Directors approved the incentive for $90,000 to Aerojet Rocketdyne for workforce training. The workforce training incentive from OPED was a part of the overall incentive package offered to Aerojet Rocketdyne by the Arkansas Economic Development Commission (AEDC), Calhoun County, and OPED. The expansion by Aerojet Rocketdyne and the incentives were announced on August 15, 2018, by Governor Asa Hutchinson and Aerojet Rocketdyne officials at the Governor's conference room in the state capital.

OPED Executive Director James Lee Silliman commented, "statistics have proven that most new jobs are created in a community from existing business and industry expanding their operations versus locating a new manufacturing facility in the community. Therefore, our community must support its existing business and industry to retain jobs and expand their operations locally, and assisting companies with workforce training is one way we can do that".

Jim Golden, OPED Board President, stated, "Aerojet Rocketdyne has created new jobs at their Camden, Arkansas facility in conjunction with new investment in building construction and equipment. The company and SAU Tech have provided adequate documentation to OPED to substantiate the company has completed the workforce training agreed to under the contract. We are pleased to present them with this incentive payment". Silliman added, "the total number of employees trained by SAU Tech for Aerojet Rocketdyne was 153".

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Left to Right: James Lee Silliman, OPED Executive Director, James Nixon, Highland Industrial Park, Jim Golden, Jim Golden Ford, Judge Robert McAdoo, Ouachita County Judge, Dr. Jason Morrison, SAU Tech Chancellor, Robert Daidone, Aerojet Rocketdyne Camden Site Lead, Karmen House, SAU Tech Workforce Coordinator, Randy Harper, SAU Tech Dean of Workforce Training, Christopher Olive, Director of Manufacturing & Production Planning Aerojet Rocketdyne, and Bill Archer, Training Manager Aerojet Rocketdyne.