WestRock, Acoustic Announce Conway Expansions 

CONWAY, Ark. (Dec. 31, 2021) — The Conway City Council approved economic incentives for three companies in a special meeting Dec. 27 that sets in motion more than $180 million of economic development for the city. 

The council approved incentives for Westrock Coffee Company, WestRock(formerly Rock-Tenn) and Acoustic. 

“Conway enjoys a diverse economy as demonstrated by these three recent announcements,” Conway Mayor Bart Castleberry said. “We welcome Westrock Coffee and Acoustic to our community, and appreciate the longstanding relationship with and continued investment by WestRock in their manufacturing facility. 

“I cannot think of a better way to welcome in the new year than with these announcements,” Castleberry said. “I appreciate the hard work of the Conway Area Chamber of Commerce and the Conway Development Corporation for their tireless efforts in keeping our economy healthy.”

WestRock (NYSE: WRK) and Acoustic were approved for participation in Advantage Arkansas and the Tax Back Program, both statutory incentive programs for businesses in Arkansas offered through the Arkansas Economic Development Commission

WestRock, a sustainable paper and packaging solutions company headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, is investing $18.3 million in its Conway facility at 198 Commerce Road and creating 33 new jobs. It was approved for participation in both Advantage Arkansas and the Tax Back Program. 

WestRock was formed with the merger of RockTenn and Mead. It is one of the world’s largest paper and packaging companies. The Conway facility has been in operation for more than 50 years, initially as ClevePack and then RockTenn. The facility currently employs more than 250. 

Acoustic was approved by the city council for participation in the Tax Back Program. The independent marketing cloud and analytics provider recently announced a new Conway location along with plans to increase its engineering and customer support functions and add 20 jobs. The new positions will have an have an average salary of more than $80,000.  

Acoustic, headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, was formed in a 2019 spinoff from IBM acquired by Centerbridge Partners. It became a standalone company in 2020. Acoustic is one of the world’s largest independent marketing clouds with more than 3,500 companies across the world as customers. It currently employs 10 in its downtown Conway location. 

“I’ve spent some of the best years of my career working in Arkansas,” Acoustic CEO Dennis Self, said in a news release. “The Conway area is a wonderful place to both live and work. As we emerged from being fully remote, we evaluated the best locations to invest in physical office space, and Conway was at the top of our list. This is an exciting time in Acoustic’s growth, and we’re thrilled to officially become a part of the local technology community.” 

The city council also approved a $160 million industrial revenue bond for Westrock Coffee.  

Westrock Coffee announced the purchase of the former Kimberly-Clark plant on Dec. 16 along with plans to invest more than $100 million in the 524,000 square-foot facility and create 250 jobs in Conway’s largest-ever capital investment project. When completed, the Conway facility will be the largest ready-to-drink packaging facility in the country. 

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Read more in the January edition of Pulse of Conway here.

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