Growth Brings Jobs, Citizens

by Austin Hyslip
Courtesy of A-State Department of Media

The town of Jonesboro is growing at an exponential rate. Big retail companies are moving in as well as new developments being built. Newk’s Eatery owner Wade Quinn said he has noticed the growth.

“Jonesboro is growing and they’re not a small town anymore, so with that comes opportunities,” he said.

The U.S. Census Bureau estimates the Jonesboro population has grown over 6,000 people in the last five years. Vice President of the Chamber of Commerce Cari White said it’s because people are able to find jobs in town.

“When you have people moving in to either go to school or work, whether it’s in the healthcare industry or our manufacturing industries, the housing market goes crazy as well as retail,” she said.

The market is booming and businesses are opening faster than ever. White said it’s all a domino effect.

White said another contributor is the town itself isn’t able to build large-scale buildings all on its own. The amount of workers that were needed to construct NEA Baptist caused quite the growth a couple of years ago.

“When your community gets the largest project in Arkansas being built in your community … when NEA was built, it was the No. 1 largest investment in Arkansas in one fell swoop. Now you’ve got to consider everybody who came in to work on that,” she said.

The future of Jonesboro is also on an upward trend. The Jonesboro Chamber of Commerce projects that the town will grow to around 75,000 people in 2017.