Matthews International Corporation (“Matthews”), founded in 1850, is a global provider of brand solutions, memorialization products, and industrial technologies. In 1959, Matthews began operations in Arkansas, where it manufactures commemorative and memorialization markers (primarily bronze) for the funeral, cemetery, and architectural signage industries.
Matthews is building a 15,000 sq. ft. high tech industrial modernization and expansion of its bronze-casting facility located in Searcy, Arkansas to ensure job security for workers at this aging facility. The project enjoys substantial support from local, state and national stakeholders. Mayor Kyle Osborne said of the project, “the proposed investment would allow the company to retain the current manufacturing jobs, create new quality jobs and ensure the continued viability of the Search facility … for many more years to come.”
The company will deploy eight state-of-the-art 3D printing machines into its current metal-casting operations, which Matthews believes is a first of its kind in the bronze-casting industry in the U.S. The project increases manufacturing efficiencies, reduce costs, and grows capabilities to better serve existing markets and allow Matthews to enter new markets.
This investment will enable the retention of 152 quality manufacturing jobs, create 30 new jobs, and create 45 temporary construction jobs.
- Total Project Cost: $15 million
- MuniStrategies Allocation: $8 million ($2 million from other providers)
- Economic: The project is a substantial generator of tax revenue. In addition to payroll taxes, on an annual basis, the project pays $70,000 in ad valorem taxes, $1.5MM in sales taxes and $39,000 in use taxes.
- Jobs: The project creates 30 accessible “manufacturing operator” jobs with an average wage of approximately $37,700 ($18.85/hr), which is 142% of the $13.29 living wage for White County. In addition, the Project would retain through modernization of the aging facility, approximately 152 quality manufacturing jobs with an average salary of approximately $22/hr., which is 161% of the $13.29 living wage for White County. The project would also create approximately 45 construction jobs.
- Community: This project is responsive to “Advancing White County Arkansas”, which is a comprehensive community and economic development strategic planning project founded in 2009. State and local entities have presented an array of economic incentives for the project. The Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration has made a $510,000 Sales and Use Tax Exemption available to Matthews. Advantage Arkansas has produced a discretionary income tax credit of $50,000 and a sales and use tax refund of an additional $70,000. The Searcy Regional Economic Development Corporation created a PILOT with a value of $350,000 over 10 years and a $50,000 discretionary cash grant. Searcy and White County will jointly participate in a 2.5% local tax refund for $30,000.
- Workforce Development: The project will commit $250,000 in overall workforce training during the 7-year NMTC compliance period. The individual types of training include safety, benefits, environmental, and job-specific training.
In The News
More than 300 openings to be represented at job fair Friday at extension office