|Updated: 1/29 4:44 pm
||Published: 1/29 4:36 pm
OSCEOLA, AR - More than 500 jobs and a 1.1 billion dollar investment are coming to northeast arkansas in the form of a new steel mill.
Mississippi County judge Randy Carney says, "We may be a small town in a small county in a small state but we don't act like it sometimes."
It’s a fitting description of a steel mill coming to Osceola with it 525 fulltime jobs with an average salary of $75,000.
John Correnti is bringing Big River Steel to the area.
“This site, if you go see it, is steel mill heaven," he says.
The company will make specialty steel used by electric companies at transmission stations, and also steel alloys now being used in car and truck frames.
But Correnti says it's about more.
"The right tools, the right equipment, you train them properly, you keep management the heck out of their way, and Katie bar the door, the governor will be calling me a liar because they won't be making $75,000, they'll be making $100,000," Correnti says.
Dickie Kennemore says, "These guys that come off of the farms, they'll be able to educate their kids, send them to college, feed their kids and have a quality of life and self esteem they've never had before."
Next step, the legislature will have to approve $125-million in bonds, the state's obligation to lure the first ever "Super-project" to Arkansas.
“I expect people who thought they had to move to Dallas or Los Angeles or somewhere to get a high paying job in a manufacturing sector, that won't have to do that anymore," Governor Mike Beebe says.
If all goes as planned, the steel mill will break ground in Mississippi County later this year and be open sometime in 2015.
In addition to the 525 permanent jobs, there will also be more than 2000 construction jobs to build the steel mill.
A super-project is defined as anything that brings at least 500 permanent jobs and a $500-million investment.