Roby Brock says an economic development announcement at the governor’s office this morning will be one of the biggest win-wins for the state in a long time.
Telecom sector. Former Acxiom building in WLR may be involved.
UPDATE: Arkansas Blogger anticipated the news. It’s the announcement that Allied Wireless, a subsidiary of Atlantic Tele-network, will locate corporate headquarters here. Some 200-300 jobs will come with it, according to today’s announcement.
Atlantic Tele-network acquired divested Alltel and Verizon cellular assets after their merger and so this operation will put people back to work who were laid off or expected to be laid off at the former Alltel otherwise. Former Alltel exec Frank O’Mara joined the company to head its wireless division in September.
There’d been speculation for months that Atlantic, once it received government approval for its acquisitions related to the Alltel merger, would set up an operation in Little Rock where a ready pool of Alltel workers exists.
The head of Atlantic was quoted in an August news article that he expected to locate in Little Rock in the next year or two and hire as many as 500 workers over time.
[Atlantic CEO Michael] Prior said factors working in Little Rock’s favor are that “we know it’s a great place to live … we’ve heard a lot from local business people that it’s a good place to have a business presence. There’s a lot of positives. And of course, there’s a lot talented people from Alltel.”
It’s more like job salvation than creation, but it’s good news for the season whatever you call it.
News release follows. LR Mayor Stodola seems to be claiming credit for the city’s “partnership” with (read unaccountable taxpayer subsidy for) LR Regional Chamber of Commerce. I’m thinking the old real estate maxim is more important — location, location, location. Go where the assets are. Atlantic acknowledged as much months ago.