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Investing in America: Alliance Rubber increasing plant, employment

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Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe (center) tours the Alliance Rubber plant
Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe (center) tours the Alliance Rubber plant recently in Hot Springs, Ark. Alliance Rubber is investing more than $600,000 to upgrade the plant, and it said it will add 15 jobs. The company will install a digital printer this month that allows it to print images onto rubber bands in a variety of colors and sizes.

HOT SPRINGS, Ark.—Alliance Rubber Co. is investing more than $600,000 into its Hot Springs facility to expand its portfolio of rubber band offerings.

The bulk of the investment will include a digital printer that allows the firm to print images onto rubber bands in a variety of colors and sizes. The investment is projected to add 15 jobs, bringing employment to 166.

Alliance Rubber's 150,000-sq.-ft. plant in Hot Springs is the firm's lone manufacturing facility and headquarters. It expects the printer to be installed in June.

“We're looking to re-invest in American jobs and American manufacturing,” said Strategic Marketing Manger Jason Risner. “We've had a commitment to innovation now for the last couple of years. What we've come up with is this ability to print digital quality photographs onto rubber bands and specifically rubber wrist bands.”

Alliance Rubber operates a similar printer, but it is limited to printing on white tubing and only in wrist band size.

Risner said the investment is targeted to grow the firm's ad specialty/in print division, which has experienced steady sales over the last three years. The division is seeing some growth from the health care industry because of the popularity of therabands used for post surgery rehab. The rubber strips are about 3 feet long and create resistance to strengthen certain muscle groups in the legs and arms.

Alliance Rubber has introduced a spinoff of therabands: a resistor strip with step-by-step sketches of the instructions printed directly on the band.

The firm operates in seven main industries, including its ad specialty/in print division. Its stationary industry is geared toward large wholesalers; paper and packaging for back end warehouses of companies; the newspaper industry; agriculture growers for bands used on vegetables; mass market retailers; and the government/post office.