BY LEANN DILBECK –
Congressman Bruce Westerman, the U.S. Representative for District 4, was in Mena Monday and had a scheduled stop at one of the area’s largest employers, Nidec Motor Corporation.
During a presentation by Plant Manager Mark Kinder, Westerman learned of the significant growth the manufacturer has experienced since it was acquired by Japanese based firm, Nidec. Kinder cited that the number of employees has grown 25 percent from 2010 to 2015, now employing approximately 400. Kinder explained their directive following the acquisition was growth and was proud to report that the local plant has experienced a 35 percent surge in sales in the last 5 years. Nidec’s speed to market was cited as their key competitive differentiator as well as being highly flexible and responsive to customer needs.
After the presentation, Westerman was led on a tour of the facility by Kinder and Nidec Motor Corporation President Rich Heppe where, an engineer himself, Westerman was impressed with the facility and its employees. “I’m impressed by the quality of the facilty and the quality of the work being done here by the employees. It’s obvious that there are some high quality employees here that take pride in their job and they create a very good product. In my previous engineering career, we use to use a lot of U.S. Motors and it’s good to be able to come in and see where they are built. It’s a great thing for Arkansas and for Mena and Polk County to have them here.”
Following the tour, Westerman asked what he could do to continue to support Nidec’s growth and Kinder quickly responded that completion of the I49 North South Corridor would be the most essential, although he understood that would be a very lengthy process.