Chambers County has received a nice Christmas present in the form of the announcement of a major employer coming this way. It could mean more than 200 new jobs in the local area in the first phase of production and a many as 700 jobs when phases two and three are included over the next six to seven years.
John Soules Foods, based in Tyler, Texas, has purchased a 266,000 square foot building off Towel Avenue in Valley for the purpose of expanding its production capabilities to a third plant. At present the company has a plant in Tyler, Texas, and a second plant in Gainesville, GA.
The building that’s been purchased is the former location of Kia Supplier Daeil. Mando is presently in the building but is planning to relocate its production too much bigger plants in Opelika or in Meriwether County, GA. The building should be available to John Soules Foods by March.
Founded in 1975, John Soules Foods is the nation’s leading formulator, manufacturer and marketer of ready-to-cook beef and chicken products as well as fully cooked breaded chicken. The company’s products are sold under the John Soules Foods and Private brands as well as a select number of private label brands for the country’s premier retailers. For more information about John Soules Foods and its products, visit www.johsoulesfoods.com
During Phase 1 of production in the Valley plant, the company will add 210 employees and invest approximately $70 million in the facility. Phases 2 and 3 will add an additional 300 employees and invest another $40 million for a total investment on the $110 million range. When the 3 phases are complete, the company’s fully cooked capabilities will increase by more than 100 million pounds a year.
The management-level jobs will pay in the $70,000 a-year- range, the maintenance jobs around $22 an hour and the machine-operator jobs in the $12 an hour range. Unskilled laborers will be paid in the neighborhood of $11 an hour, which is significantly above min. wage.
The company has plans of expanding the Daeil building. At the outset there be two production lines. This could expand to as many as five lines.
Chambers County Development Authority Executive Director Valeri Gray lauded local elected officials for their role in getting the company to come to Chambers County. Gray said the effort to get them here spanned most of calendar year 2017.
“I am exceedingly grateful for the leadership demonstrated by Mayor Riley, Commission Chairs Debbie Wood and Charlie Williams and members of our CCDA board of Directors. Without their commitment, along with several of our utility partners this project could not have been possible”
Gray added that John Soules Foods is an out standing company with a national reputation for quality products.
“Their decision to locate here is a testament to our leadership, our community and our people” she said “John Soules Foods will be an asset to the county’s ever-growing industrial base and will provide hundreds of high paying jobs to our citizen”
A central initiative of the CCDS’s focus is to diversify the county’s economic base.“John Soules Foods is exactly the kind of company we want to bring to Chambers County,” Gray said, “Today’s announcement may be coming at the end of the year, but it’s just the beginning of the CCDA’S strategy to bring diversity to chambers County”