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Biotechnology company opens in Jefferson County

For the second time in three months, an industry chooses to plant roots in Jefferson County. County leaders welcomed Vivione Tuesday.
JEFFERSON COUNTY, AR  -- For the second time in three months, an industry chooses to plant roots in Jefferson County. County leaders welcomed Vivione Tuesday.

"It's going to allow us to take the next step in our life cycle to develop products and platforms that can address a lot of the problems we see out here today," said Kevin Kuykendall, the company's CEO.

The company will sell diagnostic test systems to food producers to detect any bacteria.  Most companies make tests that reveal results in days, but Vivione's system makes it known in minutes!

"It allows manufacturers to ship their products sooner, provide a safer product, waste less product, less reprocessing if they have to clean and reprocess," said Melinda Miller, the lab manager.

Company leaders looked at other places to open but say Jefferson County leaders offered a deal too good to walk away from.  That deal is a result of the economic development tax voters approved last year.

"There is such a tremendous promise for Vivione's future here, a promise for a safer food for our consumers and promise for additional job growth," Lou Ann Nesbitt, the county's economic development alliance, said.

The company employs six people right now, but by 2016, executives plan to have over 100 employees.  If you don't have a background in the sciences, don't worry. The company will be looking for people in other arenas to staff. They'll make those positions known at a later date.

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