So one of the things that’s been identified is right now, there’s a gap between internet access between the urban and suburban areas in our rural communities and internet access is very important for educational opportunities, the ability to connect with friends and families throughout the country, access to telemedicine, remote working opportunities on a national scale. So it’s important that we build out the expansion here in Bekaert Van Buren, to service that need through the RDOF, the Rural Digital Opportunities Fund and increase the band speeds, the internet access to the rural communities. So we eliminate that gap that’s present right now.
The expansion of the plant will affect most all of our people. I think the biggest impact that it’ll have is the growth that it’ll portray to the people. So being part of a company that is growing and moving the ball forward in continuous improvement and expanding, I think is a huge opportunity in this area. It puts roughly 8,000 to 12,000 tons of material, more through the plant, which affects all of our departments, how we make the wire, how we coat the wire, how we bring it over. That’s a big improvement there, but being part of a team that’s expanding and continuously improving, continuously growing, I think that’s the biggest effect that it’ll have across our plant.
Well, Bekaert really sets the standard when it comes to expansion and involving the rest of the community. They understand how important it is to involve the city, the city council, the mayor, the quorum court, the county judge, and also the chamber and make it a real team effort. So they really set the example for other businesses on how to expand. Also involving the Arkansas economic development commission. And with that expansion comes more jobs, which helps our workforce grow and with a sustainable, talented workforce in the area that helps our other businesses grow.