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Experts from several industries examine the history and prospects of the aerospace sector



Little Rock, Arkansas – On Tuesday, the Rotary Club of Little Rock convened a panel of industrial panelists to discuss the birth of the Aerospace sector right here in the natural state and what the sector expects to accomplish in the near future. The panelists were invited to discuss the origin of the Aerospace Industry right here in the natural state.

Since the 1940s, according to James Silliman, Executive Director of the Ouachita Partnership for Economic Development, the Highland Industrial Park has been producing cutting-edge goods.

“The most sophisticated, defensive missile systems in the world are being produced right here in Camden, at the Highland Industrial Park,” said Silliman.

One of the businesses located in the park, Aerojet Rocketdyne, supplies the military with equipment and supplies.

“We are part of helping to provide protection for our warfighters as well as our nation and our allies,” said Chandra Hooker, Senior Director and Site Executive for Aerojet Rocketdyne. “We produce over 75,000 solid rocket motors a year.”

Back in April, the Department of Defense made the announcement that they would be investing a total of $216 million into the facilities of Aerojet Rocketdyne.

Hooker indicated that a significant amount would be delivered to Camden-based facilities.

“Advancing our manufacturing processes, consolidating product lines, as well as hoping to increase the production and speed of delivery of the Javelin product line, the Stinger product line, Guided product line which stands for guided multiple launch rocket systems,” said Hooker.

Highland Industrial Park President John Schaffitzel stated that the company is continuing to grow and is now selling land for new businesses in addition to employment opportunities.

He stated that this makes it possible for businesses such as Aerojet to keep working on creative initiatives.

“When they need to build, they need to build right away to implement these programs,” said Schaffitzel. “There is not a lot of red tape or approval process as they work directly with the department of defense. They design their programs, get them approved, and they are off and running. We are able to stay out of their way.”

According to Schaffitzel, they are now working on housing projects in order to provide new workers and their families with a place to live in the near future.

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