Deltaplex News broke the news Wednesday that Union Pacific announced plans to reopen the Pine Bluff shop after closing it in 2019 after an inside source provided an internal document discussing the plans. The original closure resulted in an unknown number of total layoffs.

On Thursday Union Pacific confirmed the news when Union Pacific communications manager Susan Stevens told Deltaplex News ”I can confirm that some furloughed employees are being called back to support repairing locomotives at the Pine Bluff Yard,”.

The news was welcomed by local leaders, with Pine Bluff Mayor Shirley Washington saying she was excited to hear the news.

Washington said that companies are looking at Southeast Arkansas as an area to potentially move their businesses to, and this move by UP could help things progress.

Jefferson County Judge Gerald Robinson said that UP reopening the Pine Bluff shop is an important part of being able to expand business in Jefferson County.

Robinson said there are things going on behind the scenes that can’t be discussed publicly yet regarding business in Jefferson County, but he is thankful Union Pacific made the decision to return to Pine Bluff.

Robinson said that when UP initially closed the shop there was a great economic impact that affected Jefferson County, but with things on the upswing their return can only help matters moving forward.

Additionally, White Hall Mayor Noel Foster told Deltaplex News “This is great news for the whole area.”