Announcing new businesses and jobs in Conway isn’t new. Job growth has been steady, and at times rapid, over the last decade. But the types of jobs announced in 2015 are dramatically different than announcements from as recent as 2010.
“It’s definitely a new model for us,” said Brad Lacy, president and CEO of the Conway Area Chamber of Commerce and Conway Development Corporation. “For decades, we attracted large industries that employed hundreds of people. Then we had the opportunity to locate “back office” type projects that employed hundreds of people. Now the majority of our time is working with tech-driven companies that may open with less than a few dozen employees.”
In 2015, a number of companies announced plans to add jobs in Conway:
- Garver Engineering
- Black Oak Analytics
- Big Cloud Analytics
- Northwestern Mutual
Metova represented the largest single announcement of 2015. After initially announcing plans to create 60 jobs, they amended figures upward to 160. However, the remaining projects all announced headcounts of less than 40. Lacy said the projects had something other than scale in common.
“Almost every announcement we had in 2015 was a tech- or knowledge-based industry. And the majority either located downtown or has plans for a downtown location. That combination of highly skilled workers and a desire to be close to each other and other amenities is one we’ll continue to see.”