Continued Growth: CoorsTek announces million dollar facility expansion

Staff Writer

Thursday in a warehouse filled with employees and members of the media as well as local, county and state officials, members of the Coors family and Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced the expansion of the current CoorsTek facility in Benton.
The presentation included a groundbreaking for the 50,000-square foot expansion that is expected to cost $26 million.

"On behalf of Timothy (Coors,) my brother Michael (Coors) and I, we are pleased to have you join us here today to celebrate breaking ground on our newest expansion here in Benton, Arkansas," said Co-CEO Jonathan Coors.
He called the expansion the "largest single investment the company has made in Arkansas in several years."

"Today is a very special day not only for Saline County, but for the CoorsTek strategy and also for the wonderful employees of the Benton, Arkansas facility," said Steve Brazil, vice president for the Americas east.

During the presentation, Hutchinson joked about the company's introduction to manufacturing.
"(Jonathan Coors) swears to me that the Coors family, during Prohibition, stopped making beer. Now you'll just have to accept that for what it is. Let me tell you we didn't stop anything in Arkansas," Hutchinson joked.
He further explained that during Prohibition the Coors family decided to start making ceramic items.
"They are a family of entrepreneurs. They're a family that believes in community, in values, in hard work and that's a good fit for Arkansas," Hutchinson said. "CoorsTek should feel very much at home and comfortable with the expansion you're doing."

Mayor Tom Farmer also commended the Coors family.
"Is this not special? Is this not amazing? Is this not wonderful?" said Benton Mayor Tom Farmer.
Farmer explained that he recently learned more about the family-owned company.
"It goes well with what Saline County's all about and that's caring about people," Farmer said.

CoorsTek has facilities across the globe but decided to expand in Benton.
"Whenever we look at a new production line that is going to be put into place here, they could have made decisions to put that production line elsewhere in their manufacturing facilities across the globe. They are in multiple countries and multiple states, but they chose Benton," Hutchinson said.
According to Hutchinson, people in Arkansas understand manufacturing. Arkansas currently ranks at one of the top states for the percentage of those in the workforce in manufacturing.
"It's something we're proud of," Hutchinson said. "We have that skill. We work hard."

Jonathan Coors while addressing the crowd explained what items will be created in the expanded facility.
"The future site that we are setting up here is going to be expanding our armor component manufacturing. One of the things we do here in Benton, Arkansas and are particularly proud of is producing body armor components to support the U.S. military and our allies across the globe," Jonathan Coors said. "That's what we're really proud about today."

This type of industry is continuing to grow in locations across the state.
"I'm proud of the fact that Arkansas is growing in terms of its aerospace and defense industry," Hutchinson said while naming other manufacturing companies in Arkansas. "Now with the expansion here at CoorsTek, we are growing in the aerospace and defense industry in our state and we want to see that grow."

The company plans to continue to be active in the Saline County community.
"We're extremely excited to partner with Saline County and the folks here in Benton," Coors added. "We're really happy to support the local community and be partners for years to come for manufacturing here in Arkansas."

As well as commending the Benton CoorsTek employees during the presentation, Hutchinson congratulated residents of the county for the passage of the ballot item involving the Saline County Career and Technical Education Center.
"(The new center) is really going to be a continued growth pattern for our workforce here, congratulations," Hutchinson said.