Leaders of Tyson Foods Inc. along with local and state officials broke ground today at the future site of the company’s new chicken processing plant in Humboldt, the largest city in Gibson County in western Tennessee. The approximately $300 million project is expected to create more than 1,500 local jobs once the new complex begins operations, currently expected to be in late 2019.

Tyson Foods also announced it is providing Gibson County with a $500,000 community grant along with plans for a local steering committee to decide how the money will be used. The steering committee will be comprised of community leaders and Tyson Foods team members.

“Today is truly a great day for West Tennessee and our thriving poultry industry as we officially welcome Tyson Foods to Gibson County. The company’s decision to bring 1,500 new jobs will have an incredible impact on the local economy,” said U.S. Representative David Kustoff (TN-08). “I thank Tyson Foods president and CEO, Tom Hayes, and the entire Tyson Foods team for continuing to invest in the great citizens and communities of West Tennessee.”

The plant will be located within the Gibson County Industrial Park and will produce pre-packaged trays of fresh chicken for retail grocery stores nationwide. It is expected to process 1.25 million birds per week, increasing Tyson Foods’ overall production capacity by the same amount. The payroll and payments to farmers from the new operation, along with its purchase of grain and utilities, is expected to generate an annual economic benefit to the state of Tennessee of approximately $150 million.

“This day represents the culmination of 20 years of vision, hard work and dedication by many leaders and citizens of Gibson County,” said Kingsley Brock, director of economic development, Gibson County. “Tyson Foods is a world-class company with world-class team members, and Gibson County and Humboldt will be home to the world’s most advanced, high-tech poultry processing plant. The company’s capital investment and job creation will forever change the landscape of Humboldt and Gibson County and create tremendous opportunity for our all our citizens, and I could not be happier for all of Gibson County.”

This is the second major economic development project Tyson Foods has initiated in Tennessee within the last year. In August, 2017, the company announced an $84 million expansion of its Union City operations, which is expected to create about 300 jobs, in addition to the more than 1,000 jobs currently at the facility.

Including Union City, the company currently operates four facilities in the state, employing about 5,000 with an annual payroll of more than $181 million. In its 2016 fiscal year, Tyson Foods paid Tennessee farmers more than $61 million. The company estimates its total statewide annual impact for fiscal 2016, including payroll, grain purchases, utilities, property taxes and charitable contributions to be more than $313 million.

“Today marks another important step in our journey with the people of Humboldt and Gibson County,” said Doug Ramsey, group president of Poultry for Tyson Foods. “We’re excited to roll up our sleeves, get to work and continue the successful working relationship we’ve had with the state of Tennessee for more than four decades.”

Source: Tyson Foods Inc.