Business View Magazine | May 2019

240 BUSINESS VIEW MAGAZINE MAY 2019 T he City of Blytheville, located in Mississippi County, is the easternmost settlement in the state of Arkansas, lying just west of the Mississippi River across from Tennessee, and south of Missouri. Blytheville was founded by Methodist clergyman, Henry T. Blythe in 1879, and was incorporated in 1889. Forestry was an early industry, followed by farming, with cotton, soybeans, and rice, its most important crops. In the 1980s, the city began to develop an industrial base, much of which centered on the steel industry. “Nucor is the number one employer in our area,” says Cody Wyatt, Administrative Assistant to Mayor James W. Sanders. “They have three mills here in Blytheville, and there are at least 20 smaller industries that take steel from Nucor that coat, paint, bend, or cut it.” In fact, the area in and around Blytheville is one of the largest producers and recyclers of steel and steel products in the country, providing jobs in a region that has seen the automation of the farming sector displace a lot of former farm workers. “All throughout the Delta, these little towns up and down the Mississippi have been hit hard because, where it used to take several hundred people to farm a couple of hundred acres, now five people can do several thousand acres,” notes Blytheville’s Chief Financial Officer, John Callens. “Blytheville is unique because we have opportunities that most of these other areas don’t. We also have a community college in Blytheville –Arkansas