- Associated Press - Thursday, June 5, 2014

JONESBORO, Ark. (AP) - A railcar maintenance company announced Thursday it will move into the former Nordex USA wind turbine plant in Jonesboro and intends to hire up to 350 employees.

TrinityRail Maintenance Services Inc. said it will expand the facility to accommodate its work. Once the expansion is complete, the company said, it would reach its employment target.

TrinityRail is a subsidiary of Trinity Industries Inc. of Dallas. In addition to maintaining railcars, the company supplies goods and services for inland barges, storage containers, highway products, structural wind towers, and railcar leasing and management services.

“We welcome TrinityRail Maintenance Services to Jonesboro, and we are excited for the significant investment the company is making in northeast Arkansas,” Gov. Mike Beebe said. “This shows again that when Arkansas cities have the right workforce and facilities, new companies will continue to bring good-paying jobs here.”

Jonesboro Mayor Harold Perrin said the city has a reputation as a manufacturing hub, an image that TrinityRail will help build.

“We appreciate the company’s confidence in our workforce and look forward to TrinityRail’s success in Jonesboro,” Perrin said.

Arkansas economic development officials recruited Nordex, and the company spent $40 million to build its facility but had to shut down after just a few years of operation. The company said the lack of a federal tax credit for wind energy production resulted in a dearth of orders.

American Railcar Industries Inc. operates a railcar manufacturing plant in nearby Marmaduke in northeast Arkansas.

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