Fort Smith has for years been a prominent regional manufacturing center. However, a large number of the manufacturing jobs have been relocated overseas. Fort Smith has been ranked number six in the nation regarding the lowest cost of doing business cities. The important elements of the economy are manufacturing, trucking, healthcare, food-processing, tourism, recreation and conventions. A variety of products are produced in Fort Smith including appliances, food products, wood and paper products, composite building materials and air conditioning systems.
The most popular jobs in Fort Smith which are typically filled by college graduates are registered nurses, teachers, wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives, accountant and auditors and social and human service assistants. Some of the high paying jobs in the region are physical therapists and physical therapist assistants, truck drivers, heavy and tractor trailers; sales managers, purchasing managers and lawyers.
Notable information about Fort Smith: Fort Smith has been mentioned by Forbes as having the lowest cost of living in the nation. For the population over 25 years of age, about 18% have a bachelor's degree or higher. In addition, the daytime population increases by about 35% due to commuters from the surrounding area.
In association with the Arkansas Department of Economic Development, the city offers various types of investment and job creation incentives in order to attract new companies and retain flourishing businesses. Tax Back, InvestArk and Advantage Arkansas are a few of the incentives that are available to businesses. The Arkansas Construction Education Foundation Training Program provides classroom and real-world experience via apprenticeship programs. In addition, the University of Arkansas Fort Smith's Center for Business and Professional Development partners with local businesses with the objective of developing the skills of employees.
The major employers in Fort Smith are:
- Baldor Electric Company
- Fort Smith Public Schools
- O.K. Industries
- City of Fort Smith
- Rheem Manufacturing Company
- Sparks Health System
- Arkansas Best Corporation
- University of Arkansas Fort Smith
- Golden Living
- St. Edward Mercy Medical Center
- Hiram Walker
- Cooper Clinic
- Area Agency on Aging
- Gerber Products
- Riverside Furniture
- The Trane Company
- Twin Rivers
The list shown below displays the major industries for employment in Fort Smith:
- Trade, transportation and public utilities
- Education and health services
- Professional and business services
- Financial activities
Business organizations offering assistance to Fort Smith companies:
The Times Record is an excellent publication to help individuals keep up-to-date with the business activities in the Fort Smith area.