Tuesday, February 14, 2017

EDITORIAL >> Celebrating job creators

The Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce announced at its annual banquet last week that SIG Sauer, the arms manufacturer, will soon open with 150 employees, three times the number of jobs that were originally planned for last year when the plant decided to relocate here.

The company will manufacture ammunition at its new facility at 357 SIG Sauer Drive off Swift Drive near the air base, but maybe someday it will manufacture its top-of-the-line guns popular with law enforcement and private citizens.

We’re glad SIG Sauer’s grand opening is on target for next month, and here’s hoping that before too long, it will triple its workforce, which is among the best in the nation. So welcome, SIG Sauer, and may you prosper along with our community.

Congratulations also to the Jacksonville chamber’s longtime members who are marking anniversaries this year. Several local businesses trace back their roots 50 years or more: Tommy and Pat Bond, marked their 50th anniversary as owners of Bond Consulting Engineers. Over the years, Bond Engineers have directed major construction projects across Arkansas, including the Lonoke-White water project, and the company is now overseeing the new Jacksonville school district’s construction of a $60 million high school near Hwy. 67/167 and a $20 million elementary school near the air base.

Other anniversaries should also be acknowledged: Jacksonville Animal Hospital and Gwatney Chevrolet are marking 45 years in business this year. Jacksonville Medical Care, Versatile, Inc. and Days Inn celebrate 40 years. The Leader turns 30 in March, while Waste Management of Arkansas and United Abstract and Title Co., Inc. are also commemorating 30th anniversaries; Subway, Super 8 and Dr. Joe Collins, 25 years.

Attorney Will Bond of the McMath, Woods law firm, Pulaski Technical College, Quality Inn and Main Gate Storage have been with the chamber 20 years.

Marking 15 years, Cabot Office Machines and Supplies, Hope Lutheran Church, Aaron’s Sales and Lease, Huff N Puff, Woodland Hills of Jacksonville, Susan Davitt and Nephrology Physicians and Dialysis.

And marking 10 years are AllFam Bowling and Entertainment Center, Marleen Eddlemon, Ryno Towing and Recovery, Jay Whisker, American Student International, Baptist Health Center, Crain Ford Jacksonville, the Jacksonville Museum of Military History, AR Workforce Center, City Motors, Keep Jacksonville Beautiful, McDonald’s, Tropical Smoothie CafĂ©, Pre-Paid Legal and Identity Theft Shield, dental surgeon Dr. Ted M. Pinney and Lawrence Dupree Consulting.

Triple C Auto Clinic, Insurance Advantage, state Sen. Eddie Joe Williams (R-Cabot) and Lynetta Kirk are marking five years with the chamber. Thank you for all you do in our community. It wouldn’t be the same without you.