I must of missed this in the news. Pretty cool stuff.New ammo plant brings 90 new jobs to East Texas
MARSHALL, TX (KSLA) -
It was an effort 6 years in the making, and there are tens of millions of dollars at stake in economic development for East Texas. We're talking about the Rio Ammunition Plant that's now open for business in Marshall, Texas.
With the snip of a giant pair of scissors for a symbolic ribbon cutting ceremony inside the brand new facility, there was no thunderous bang of a shotgun shell explosion, but instead a smattering of applause. It ushered in the era of Rio Ammunition to Marshall, Texas and was all part of what the company called an 'Inauguration' as they opened their doors to the community to celebrate their opening.
Marshall Economic Development Corporation (MEDCO) Board Member Hal Cornish told the large crowd of visitors, "You know, they're the largest manufacturer of shotgun shells in the world. So, we're delighted that they chose us to build the plant here."
There's big money at stake, an estimated $55 million in economic development over the next decade. MEDCO Executive Director Donna Maisel broke it all down for us.
"We're talking about payroll, we're talking about property taxes, sales taxes, international visitors from other divisions of the company and their customers," said Maisel.
We had been hoping to get a view inside of plant operations to see how they make the shotgun shells. Unfortunately, they would not allow cameras inside, saying that there are proprietary secrets inside.
But, KSLA News 12 was there at the very beginning, in April of 2014, for the groundbreaking of the $19 million overall investment by parent company Maxam, based in Spain. Just four months ago, as construction neared completion, we got a sneak peak inside the facility.
We're told they chose Texas because it's one of the best markets. As for why Marshall, Maisel explained, "They chose Marshall because of the Texas State Technical College and because of the community support and endorsement of the company and their trust and belief in them."
While the plant now employs 90 people, there are already plans for future growth. It manufactures shotgun shells for hunting and competition sporting events and there are plenty of potential customers. There are an estimated 20 million recreational shooters in the U.S.
Rio Ammo says it has grown to become the global leader of shotgun ammunition with 30 percent of worldwide sales.
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