FORT SMITH, Ark. --
Mitsubishi Power Systems is expected to break ground on a wind turbine manufacturing plant in 2011.
Mitsubishi looked at 63 other potential sites, but Fort Smith city leaders said they were impressed the most with the Fort Smith region's qualified workforce and existing industries.
"It's just a big day for the area, a big day for the region (and) a big day for Fort Smith," said Ivy Owen, executive director of the Fort Chaffee Redevelopment Authority.
Mitsubishi officials said they expect to create up to 400 jobs at a new 200,000-square-foot building on 90 acres of land at Chaffee Crossing.
Owen said the decision made him ecstatic.
"This type of industry has always been what I was looking for out there; the type of higher skill level jobs," Owen said.
Fort Smith City Administrator Dennis Kelly said it's a welcomed investment for an area that's seen about 1,200 manufacturing jobs eliminated over the past 12 months.
"Financially it's projected to be about a $100 million impact on the economy," Kelly said. "That's between construction, site location, jobs and then all of these support industry and spin-off industries that will come."
Kelly said incentives including infrastructure promises such as the completion of I-49 and tax credits helped bring Mitsubishi to the city.
"It will be a huge step up for the economy of Fort Smith," Kelly said.
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