The economic base in El Dorado is steered by the oil, timber and chemical industries. The city is the proud home of the headquarters of Fortune 500 company Murphy Oil Corporation, an international oil and gas company, and a Lion Oil Company refining plant. Deltic Timber Corporation also has its headquarters in El Dorado, while Anthony Forest Products operates a laminating plant in town. On the chemical side, major employers include the Great Lakes Chemical Company, which operates its largest bromine and brominated products manufacturing plant in El Dorado; El Dorado Chemical, which makes agricultural products and industrial chemicals, including nitrogen-based fertilizers, nitric acid, sulfuric acid and industrial-grade ammonium nitrate for the mining industry; and TETRA Technology, Inc., a company that has established a modern, $100 million calcium chloride plant in the area.
The retail and service industry is also a significant participant in the local economy. El Dorado is a recognized retail trade center for a large portion of southern Arkansas and northern Louisiana.
Additionally, a focus on enhancing the local tourism industry is evident in El Dorado. With the new El Dorado Conference Center, the city hopes to further attract conferences, meetings and big-name entertainment.
The presence of large corporations and thriving, locally owned businesses comes together with El Dorado’s highly skilled workforce and dedicated government to provide an unmatched place to do business.
A strategic location and strong transportation network play a significant role in business desirability as well. Serving the ground transportation needs of El Dorado is the Union Pacific Railway main line, which directly connects the city to all the major cities of the south and west. Two short line carriers, Ouachita Railroad and El Dorado-Wesson Railway Company, serve the market too.
Current and prospective businesses are also drawn to the area because of its commitment to workforce development. South Arkansas Community College (SouthArk) is an important business development resource in El Dorado. Employers utilize the college’s Center for Workforce Development, which offers pre-employment training, grant assistance, performance improvement consultations, job placement assistance and programs geared toward training and retraining the regional workforce. Customized training for business and industry is also available through Southern Arkansas University in nearby Magnolia.