Poultry products supplier Simmons Foods is preparing to inject $100 million in its Van Buren, AR prepared foods manufacturing plant to add 65,000 sq ft of space and two new “highly automated” production and packaging lines, a recent company release announced.
“This investment will create 100 new jobs, including highly skilled positions to support robotics and automation processes,” Simmons Prepared Foods President Joel Sappenfield said in a statement. “The expansion will also support growth in the local economy and assist in meeting market demand for one of the fastest growing segments in the business – cooked products.”
Beyond the additional space and the installation of the new lines, Simmons Foods also plans to upgrade interior spaces of the facility used by staff and improve traffic flow in and out of the plant.
“We’re excited to build on our success in the region. Our River Valley team is an important part of our company’s total operations,” said Sappenfield. “We have three production locations here in River Valley, as well as a Hiring Center and a Simmons Care Clinic dedicated to providing medical care with no added co-pays exclusively for team members and their covered dependents.”
The plant currently houses three lines capable of producing 110 million lb/yr of cooked, premium chicken products and has a headcount of around 600 full-time workers. When the expansion reaches completion, the Van Buren facility’s capacity will increase by 100 million lb.