Osceola, Arkansas -
OSCEOLA, AR - BlueOak Arkansas broke ground in the state on Tuesday, announcing it will be the first business of its' kind in the US.
Former Vice President Al Gore helped make the announcement in Mississippi County during a ceremonial ground breaking.
He's a partner at existing BlueOak investor, Kleiner Perkins that has partially helped fund the $35 million project coming to Arkansas.
"Osceola has struck gold," Gore said to a crowd of guests near the site where BlueOak will be constructed.
He said it best Tuesday, as for the last few years the minds behind BlueOak and this Mississippi County town have been on a treasure hunt with a plan to source your old cell phones, computers and other electronics for their precious metals.
"It may be e-waste to you but I tell ya, to BlueOak it's gold, silver, platinum, cadmium and other stuff," explained the former CEO of a steel recycling company, John Correnti.
When you toss your old electronics, BlueOak will keep the valuable waste away from the land fills, as well as the communities over-seas that break the metals and potentially harmful components down by hand.
"Our technology is a humanitarian disaster," remarked BlueOak CEO Priv Bradoo.
Gore went on to share, "This started with environmentalists looking for a way to deal with a very bad environmental problem."
Those that have helped get BlueOak to Osceola broke ground, with a golden shovel in hand, digging a ceremonial path to a future not only for BlueOak but also the people that live there by providing 50-75 jobs right out of the gates.
Osceola Mayor Dickie Kennemore said, "[BlueOak expects] this facility here could grow ten times than what it is."
But why Osceola, a town of 7,700?
"These are the good farm boys and farm girls of America," Bradoo added. "These are the people who are going to roll up their sleeves and make our facility successful and make the city successful."
Which has the potential to put this area back on the map.
Correnti said, "Mississippi County will be the recycling capitol of the world."
Al Gore did joke during his speech about wanting the company to move to Tennessee. Clearly Arkansas won.
To see his full remarks about BlueOak Arkansas click here.
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