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Mayor looks to position county for “Blue Oval” economic boom

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Mark Ward

On Wednesday, Oct. 26, Benton County Mayor Mark Ward attended a networking and planning meeting in Covington regarding Ford’s multi-billion dollar “Blue Oval City” project. It was a great opportunity to meet with decision makers, stakeholders, and support industry representatives who could potentially locate businesses in Benton County. 

Ford’s “Blue Oval City” project is currently under construction in rural Haywood County near Stanton. It represents an estimated initial investment of 5.6 billion dollars and the creation of approximately 6,000 jobs. The facility will produce electric vehicles and lithium batteries and has been described as “the most advanced auto production complex in Ford’s history.” 

Benton County’s 126 exit on I-40 is little more than an hour’s drive from the location of Blue Oval City, well within a competitive distance from the site for contributing businesses that are looking to locate along the I-40 corridor within easy delivery range of Blue Oval.

“Benton County is uniquely positioned to offer a home to numerous industries that will supply and support the coming Ford manufacturing operations near Stanton. I see our active participation in these types of meetings and events as vital for the future growth of the county,” Ward said. “We can expect to be in serious contention for a respectable number of good paying jobs. I am hopeful that this type of progress will give more young people the opportunity to stay in Benton County after graduation and continue to enjoy their hometowns while contributing to the things that make our community great.” 

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