LITTLE ROCK — Southwest Steel Processing said Monday it will spend $18 million to expand its facility in Newport and add 100 jobs over the next two years.

LITTLE ROCK — Southwest Steel Processing said Monday it will spend $18 million to expand its facility in Newport and add 100 jobs over the next two years.


The manufacturer of railcar and oil and gas components said the expansion will bring total employment at the facility to 220 and will allow it to develop a new forging line.


Gov. Asa Hutchinson joined company leaders and local officials for a news conference in Newport on Monday to announce the expansion.


"This type of expansion is not possible without a strong, talented workforce already in place," Hutchinson said, according to a news release. "Thanks to the existing employees of Southwest Steel Processing for their significant role in making this project a reality. We appreciate the company’s decision to continue growing in Arkansas."


Ken Copeland, president of Southwest Steel Processing, said U.S. manufacturing has been severely challenged in the past, "but as this expansion testifies, it is experiencing a reemergence. All of us at SSP are very proud of what we have accomplished in the past 12 years and are looking forward to the future with great expectations."


Southwest Steel Processing is a partnership between Cleveland-based Park Ohio and Arkansas Steel Associates of Newport. Park Ohio operates about 90 manufacturing, distribution, and service facilities and employs approximately 6,000 people worldwide.


In February 2014, the Arkansas Economic Development Commission and Arkansas Development Finance Authority approved an $11 million bond guaranty related to the expansion.


People who are interested in employment at the Newport facility can contact the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services.