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The grand opening of the Clark County Child Care Inc., took place Tuesday at 10:30 a.m. in the Clark County Industrial Park. The 24-hour-a-day, 7,560-square-foot facility, constructed by Southern Bancorp Community Development Corp. held its formal ribbon cutting with Gov. Mike Beebe as the guest speaker.

Beebe began by saying “A mama’s first obligation is to be with that child. Before going to work or school, she makes sure that child is taken care of.” He said Clark County works well together and has “set an example for a quality of life for people within the community.”

Bill Wright, chair of the Clark County Industrial Council, added, “The Strategic Planning Committee listened and worked to make this dream a reality. Workers wanted a safe place for their children to stay while they work, and we are very fortunate to stand here today.”

The Clark County Childcare Center at full capacity will create up to 46 new jobs, and will make it easier for parents to work night and weekend shifts. It will also provide quality child care in Clark County, and create an attractive community resource that will help recruit more business and industries to Clark County, according to those who worked on the project.

“By providing convenient child care to Clark County’s industrial employees, this project will create benefits for employers and employees alike,” said Dr. Wesley Kluck, chair of the Clark County Strategic Plan Steering Committee. “Employees will be able to provide their children with a safe, consistent place to stay while they work night and weekend shifts. Clark County Child Care will help reduce absenteeism, tardiness and turnover among employees.”

Phil Baldwin, president and chief executive officer of Southern Bancorp, said, “This innovative project will help Clark County attract new industries by providing an invaluable service to employees and serving as an appealing resource for prospective industrial employers.”

Euodias Goza, chair of the Economic Development Corp. of Clark County, spoke next, saying, “It is amazing what the 1/2-cent sales tax is enabling the community to do. The grant was for Clark County, the money was used in Clark County and put back into Clark County toward the building of the Childcare Center using contractors, sub-contractors, architects, electricians and plumbers. This facility will set the example, not only for this community, but for the state.”

The facility is open to all children, regardless of where their parents work.

Information on enrollment is available by calling 245-5555, or by stopping by the center for an application.

Also during the ceremony, Danfoss Scross Technologies presented a grant of $17,000 to be used for playground equipment at the center. The grant is a joint contribution of Danfoss Scroll Technologies and the Fabrikant Mads Clausen Foundation, established in 1960 by Mads Clausen, the founder of Danfoss.

Al Holewinski, general manager of Danfoss Scroll Technologies, presented the donation to John French, board member of the Clark County Child Care, Inc. In making the gift, Holewinski said “Danfoss Scroll Technologies is committed to the future success of Clark County and the community of Arkadelphia. The Child Care Center meets a need expressed by our employees as being an important quality of life factor to have peace of mind for their children being located nearby while the parents are at work. Our employees are our most valued asset that we intend to support with this gift.”