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TODAY AND TOMORROW

No matter your reason for choosing Fort Smith as home the region welcomes you with its scenic views, affordable living, business opportunities and much more.

The Fort Smith region is a perfect combination of old and new, where history is embraced and celebrated, but its future is clearly on the horizon. With manufacturing and technology growth at places like ProPak, Mars PetCare and more, to educational opportunities at the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith and the Arkansas Colleges of Health Education, Fort Smith provides opportunities in a wide variety of areas.

Businesses continue to grow and expand in the Fort Smith region. Fort Smith is home to corporate headquarters for companies like ABB and Qualserv and companies that produce everything from baby food to beer. Fort Smith-manufactured products can be found all over the world. The region’s workforce has excelled at taking on big jobs, thanks to training programs in association with growing local educational institutions like the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith, UAMS, The Arkansas Colleges of Health Education, Vista College and Arkansas Tech University-Ozark.

Glatfelter created its first “airlaid” materials facility in the United States, bringing in around 80 high-tech jobs where the average salary is about $27 an hour. Companies like Mars Petcare, Pernod Ricard, PRADCO, Midwest Automation & Custom Fabrication and others recently completed expansions that brought more jobs to the area.
Glatfeltner, Siligan Plastics and Applied Process all celebrated grand openings in 2018.

Elsewhere in Fort Smith, the opening of Tacos 4 Life, Gusano’s Pizzaria, Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers and Baskin-Robbins locations expanded the selection for local diners. Zapata’s Mexican Grill also opened on Rogers Avenue in the former Lin’s Garden location.

An array of arts and entertainment opportunities exist everywhere you look. Stop by and see who’s playing at TempleLive, or enjoy some food and music out at the StoneHouse at Chaffee Crossing. 21 West End is one of Fort Smith’s go-to places to grab a meal and a drink with friends, while Fort Smith Brewing Co. often hosts fun events for beer enthusiasts and others to enjoy.

The ArcBest Performing Arts Center at the Fort Smith Convention Center has played host to shows from nationally acclaimed performers, in addition to performances by the Fort Smith Symphony and Western Arkansas Ballet.
Annual events in Fort Smith offer fun opportunities for everyone. Sign up for the Fort Smith Marathon each February and test your running skills against your friends and neighbors.

Head to the river in June and catch the annual Blues Fest for two days of great music, or catch the Unexpected mural arts festival.

If you’re in need of a helping hand with your health, Fort Smith has you covered. The region boasts two award-winning hospitals (Mercy Fort Smith and Baptist Health), and each has convenient clinics and offices for their patients’ care.
Mercy Hospital launched a $10 million fundraising program in 2018 to go toward its new 16,000-square-foot Neurosciences Center. A ribbon-cutting and grand opening ceremony was held to mark Baptist Health’s emergence in Fort Smith.

Fort Smith’s schools are poised to become some of the most modern and upgraded in the state, following a voter-approved millage increase in 2018. The district’s plans include increased security at all schools, new gyms at both Northside and Southside high schools, new freshman centers and a career and technology center. The University of Arkansas at Fort Smith offers more than 50 bachelor’s and associate degrees for its students ranging from dental hygiene to graphic design and beyond.

The Arkansas Colleges of Health Education continue to grow. The state-of-the-art college broke ground last year on its newest facility, a 66,000 square-foot, $25 million building that will house future programs in occupational therapy, physical therapy and physician assistants. The new facility will add 30 faculty positions with annual pay over $100,000 each.

There are many opportunities for outdoor recreation in the area, whether it’s golfing at Ben Geren Park, visiting the Janet Huckabee Nature Center or canoeing down the Mulberry River. There is also plenty of hiking and fishing around at places like Lake Fort Smith State Park up Interstate 49, or Lake Tenkiller in Oklahoma. Head out for a walk along the trails at many of Fort Smith’s parks.

With its wide range of opportunities in business and education and its assortment of fun things to do and see, it’s easy to see why Fort Smith is a great place to call home. Discover the area’s past, present and future for yourself.