SEARCY, Ark. (AP) -- A Searcy factory announced Wednesday that it will hire 55 new employees so the plant can produce energy-efficient electric motors for heating and air conditioning units.
The ElectroCraft Arkansas Inc. plant will go from having 70 workers to 125 by virtue of a deal with SN Tech Inc., which specializes in the energy efficient motors.
The plant is to start production by the fall, making motors that range from one-fourth horsepower to 1 horsepower. Within a year or two, the factory plans to introduce larger motors of up to 5 horsepower for commercial use.
The companies said that the motors were designed in South Korea, where SN Tech has a factory. Phoenix-based SN Tech says it wants to use the Searcy plant as its source for all of its products made for sale in the United States.
"We believe there is a huge opportunity with these green motors and we are proud to be part of this leading edge technology," ElectroCraft President James Elsner said.
The companies say that more than 800 million electric motors are used annually in the United States, and they gobble up 60 percent of the nation's electrical production.
About 90 percent of those motors are not energy efficient and the companies estimate that 62 million of those older motors will have to be replaced in the coming years, providing solid demand for the Searcy plant's products.
"This is exciting news for White County and further evidence of Arkansas's growing stature in the green-technology sector," Gov. Mike Beebe said. "These businesses are succeeding and expanding because their 'green' products are practical, efficient, and often cheaper for consumers. In Arkansas, we will continue increasing our presence in these industries for the betterment of our economy and our environment."
Dover, N.H.-based ElectroCraft has nine U.S. factories.