When you consider Arkansas’ top employers, Walmart in Bentonville definitely comes to mind. Founded by Sam Walton in 1962, the store that started in Rogers, Arkansas, is now the world's largest corporation, exceeding $246 billion in revenue.
However, small businesses comprise almost 97 percent of the state’s employers, which provide half of all private-sector jobs. The state has 241,000 small companies, according to the Small Business Administration
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Here are the top five employers with the most jobs in Arkansas:
1. Walmart and Sam’s Club employ
2.2 million people around the world, 1.4 million of them in the United States. About 9,500 of them work at the Bentonville, Arkansas, headquarters.
Tyson Foods, Inc., the second-largest food production company in the Fortune 500, employs about 115,000 people worldwide, a fifth of those who are based in Arkansas, according to Arkansas Online
J.B. Hunt Transport Services, Inc. has 14,500 people working in 400 facilities across the lower 48 states. Johnnie Bryan Hunt and his wife Johnelle founded the company in Lowell, Arkansas, in 1961. Hunt is known for partnering with the railroads during the 1980s when most truck companies did not.
Along he logistics company has claimed such as accolades as being named one of "America's Most Admired Companies" by Fortune magazine, one of the "100 Best Places to Work in IT" by IDG Computerworld, and one of the Top 100 Military-Friendly Employers by G.I. Jobs magazine.
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Baptist Health, Inc. employs more than 7,500 workers and is based in Little Rock. The hospital opened with 75 beds in 1920.
It’s now the largest healthcare system in Arkansas. In 1954, it became the first Arkansas hospital to employ African-American doctors.
By the 1970s, it needed to purchase 213 acres to build a larger hospital. The Baptist Medical Center, with 534 beds, opened in 1971. Former U.S. Vice President Gerald Ford gave the dedication speech.
Since 1921, Baptist Health has had schools for healthcare workers. Nine programs, including nursing, surgery, occupational therapy, sleep technology, and radiology, are offered in Little Rock.
Alltel Corporation has more than 15,000 workers worldwide. It was founded by brothers-in-law
Hugh Randolph Wilbourn Jr. and Charles Beverly Miller, both of Little Rock, in 1943. They were originally construction crewmen for Southwestern Bell Telephone Company. They called it Allied Telephone and Electric Company.
In 1961, Alltel became the first American telephone company to offer customers direct long-distance dialing for station-to-station, person-to-person, collect, and credit-card calls. It’s now the nation’s ninth-largest wireless telecommunications firm.
AT&T acquired Alltel in 2013 but the company continues to operate under Alltel until the customer base is transferred to AT&T.
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