State, regional and local leaders gathered with representatives of Firestone Building Products Monday morning to celebrate the completion of a $36 million expansion project at the Prescott plant and more than one million hours worked without a lost-time accident.
Governor Mike Beebe arrive by helicopter for the event and joined Congressman Mike Ross, Mayor Terry Oliver and Firestone Building Products President Tim Dunn.
Dunn said, “Two years ago, Firestone celebrated 40 years of operations at the Prescott facility and involvement with the local community. Since 1984, quality EPDM roofing material has been manufactured in Prescott, the largest EPDM manufacturing plant in the world. With the expansion project and the investment we have made in equipment refinements and additions, Firestone is well positioned to supply our customers with superior roofing products for their future construction needs.”
Dunn also congratulated the Prescott employees for the tremendous safety milestone.
“Safety is of utmost importance to Firestone plant operations, and we appreciate the commitment of our teammates to achieve this accomplishment,” said Dunn.
“Firestone’s decision to stay and expand in Prescott is an investment not only in Arkansas, but in the dedicated workforce that has brought them success here,” Governor Mike Beebe said. “We thank Firestone for believing in Southwest Arkansas, and wish them continued prosperity in this expanded facility.”
Congressman Ross thanked the union for extending contracts to keep the Firestone plant in Prescott noting that over 400 working families know they still have a job at the Prescott Firestone facility.
Congressman Mike Ross also recognized members of the Prescott High School business class in attendance at the ceremony.
“The importance of the retention of over 400 jobs, and the retention of a community partner and industry that has been a part of Prescott all of our adult lives cannont be overstated,” said Ross.
In honor of the more than one million hours without a lost-time accident, Plant Manager Ray Oxley presented Governor Beebe with a jacket like the one that was presented to all Firestone employees.
Oxley said it was encouraging to see Prescott Elementary School fourth graders enthusiastically performing experiments at the Firestone Science Center. That facility was constructed with the help of a $100,000 donation from Firestone Building Products.
The dignitaries attending the ceremony toured the Science Center as well as the Firestone plant.