Vista Outdoor, the new owner of the Remington ammunition plant in Lonoke, is recalling workers and getting production at the facility geared up to meet nationwide demand.
During a recent interview held via Webex, Chris Metz, Vista Outdoor chief executive officer, said the company is focused on bringing the Lonoke operation back to its full potential, including linking the facility in with the Vista Outdoor’s logistics and implementing its covid-19 safety protocols for the company’s workers.
Vista Outdoor was formed in 2015 when the sporting group of Alliant Techsystems Inc. was spun off. The company includes a wide variety of outdoor brands including optics and ammunition makers.
Vista Outdoor booked $1.8 billion in sales in fiscal 2020, with $1.2 billion coming from the shooting sports segment and $600,000 million in outdoor products, according to its annual report. The company employs about 5,400 since the Remington acquisition and has 14 other manufacturing operations in the U.S. and Puerto Rico.
Currently the company employs more than 400 at the Remington plant in Lonoke, with plans to bring back 300 furloughed workers as soon as possible. Metz declined to say what the average pay was at the plant citing competitive concerns but said the jobs paid well and that Vista Outdoor offered a competitive benefits package. He said during the bankruptcy the plant was functioning at about 10% capacity before Vista Outdoor took over.
“In a lot of ways, its like a cold start,” Metz said.
In July, Remington Outdoor Company, the nation’s oldest gun-maker, declared bankruptcy