April 19, 2011

Putting West Memphis on the map

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From a ceremonial visit from FedEx CEO Fred Smith to national award-winning teachers to a visit from a U.S. Senator interested in recent growth in manufacturing taking place here, the economic development news from West Memphis is dynamic and exciting enough these days to do a newsletter once a week instead of monthly! Here’s an overview of some of our recent milestones.

The year’s been a good one so far, both for West Memphis and the state of Arkansas. In February, Fred Smith – President, Chairman and CEO of FedEx Corporation – was the keynote speaker at the West Memphis Chamber of Commerce’s 64th Annual Banquet. It turned out Mr. Smith wasn’t the only celebrity at the banquet. Two West Memphis school teachers – Tracy Valentine and Tamika Jordan – were honored for winning HUGE national honors from the Milken Family Foundation. Congrats to both for being chosen as two of only 55 teachers from across the country to receive the honor last year.

And Tracy and Tamika are just part of the story when it comes to education in The Natural State. After placing 10th two years in a row, Arkansas ranked 6th this year in Quality Counts, Education Week Magazine’s annual ranking of states’ educational quality.

Now the largest manufacturer in Eastern Arkansas, California-based manufacturer Awesome Products is wrapping up an expansion of its facilities here in West Memphis from 80,000 square feet to 1 million. We are proud to announce that Sen. Mark Pryor will be visiting the city later this month on April 27 to tour the facility. Stay tuned for more information on this exciting visit.

Ward Wimbish
Director of Economic Development, West Memphis, AR