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Gerber Products Company Plans $30 Million Expansion at Fort Smith, Arkansas, Manufacturing Plant

Gerber Products Company, a subsidiary of Nestlé S.A., will invest $30 million to expand its manufacturing complex in Fort Smith, Arkansas.

The company is adding a product line at its manufacturing facility in Fort Smith. In addition, as part of this expansion Gerber will also increase its workforce by 50 full-time associates, according to the Arkansas Economic Development Commission. The company will also add new food manufacturing, food processing equipment and additional machinery, along with making infrastructure improvements at the site.

“We appreciate the state of Arkansas and the city of Fort Smith’s partnership and participation in supporting our project,” Gerber President and CEO Bill Partyka said. “Gerber has had a long-standing relationship with the state of Arkansas and the Fort Smith community, and we look forward to continuing that relationship for many years to come.”

“Since coming to Arkansas in 1964, Gerber has had a significant impact on the Fort Smith economy and has been a valued corporate citizen in the community,” Arkansas Economic Development Commission Secretary and Executive Director Mike Preston said. “They have chosen to remain here and expand numerous times, and we are always grateful to companies that have chosen to call Arkansas home. They have participated in our Manufacturing Day several times and were instrumental in helping to develop and launch our Future Fit program. I wish them continued success.”

Gerber has entered into a payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) agreement with the city of Fort Smith to abate up to 65 percent of property taxes for 15 years. The company also qualified for the AEDC Create Rebate Program, which provides a payroll rebate for the expansion of the Fort Smith facility, and the AEDC Tax Back Program, which provides sales tax refunds on building materials, taxable machinery and equipment associated with the project.

“The Gerber expansion is another great example of how the chamber and city of Fort Smith work together to retain a legacy company in this community. Governor Asa Hutchinson and Secretary Preston’s team worked in tandem with the chamber to win this project,” Fort Smith Regional Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Tim Allen said.

Fort Smith city directors passed a resolution to issue $30 million in industrial development revenue bonds to help finance the project, which will retain 480 employees in addition to creating new jobs.

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