Varco Pruden, a steel manufacturing company in Pine Bluff, is moving to White Hall.
In May, the company, which is a division of BlueScope, an Australian steel producer, will transfer its 35 employees to its new 14,000-square-foot facility at 8515 Dollarway Road, according to Ronnie Reynolds, the company's regional engineering manager.
"We're very excited. It's a new beginning for us," Reynolds said. "It's a better opportunity for us."
BlueScope produces steel materials, buildings, products, systems and technologies, and is headquartered in Melbourne, according to its website.
Although the move will not put the company closer to Interstate 530, it's a shorter drive to Little Rock, where transportation options include the Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport.
The company started the retrofit of the former Fred's Super Dollar Store on Dollarway Road a couple of months ago, and the work will be completed by mid-April.
"We'll be moved in by the end of May," Reynolds said.
The company has no choice, he said, because the lease on the Pine Bluff facility at 1115 Commerce Road is up then.
Johnson Architects of Little Rock did the redesign on the building, and Hart Construction LLC of Searcy is overseeing the construction.
Both White Hall Mayor Noel Foster and Chamber of Commerce President Joe Spadoni wholeheartedly welcomed the company's decision.
"I'm thrilled with this development. ... It's a good fit for the community," Spadoni said last week.
Foster agreed, adding the company is well established and solid.
In addition to growing the city's tax revenue, it will offer more professional employment opportunities for locals and possibly attract people to consider moving to White Hall, he said.
BlueScope/Varco Pruden is one of two Pine Bluff businesses that will soon call White Hall home.
Relyance Bank is building its new headquarters at Sheridan Road and should be move-in ready this summer.
The Petal Shoppe Flowers and Gifts, formerly of Pine Bluff, opened at 7710 Dollarway Road at White Hall last summer.
A LITTLE HISTORY
Varco Pruden was founded in Pine Bluff in 1968, and although it retained its name, the company was bought by BlueScope in 2008.
BlueScope has more than 160 operations and sales offices in 18 countries and employs more than 14,000.
As the engineering manager over BlueScope's eastern region, Reynolds oversees operations in Greensboro, N.C.; Memphis; Evansville, Wis.; Annville, Pa.; and soon White Hall.
As part of its offerings, BlueScope/Varco Pruden can customize a steel structure with an exterior finish for commercial, industrial or institutional facilities.
An example of their Central Arkansas work includes theWhite Hall Junior High and Falcon Jet in Little Rock.
Varco Pruden is hiring and invites anyone interested in pursuing a career there to check them out at: bluescopebuilding.com/careers.
Said Reynolds: "We have an opening for an engineer in our office. We're in the growing mode."