New chicken processing plant to bring 1,100 jobs to Robeson Co.

New chicken processing plant to bring 1,100 jobs to Robeson Co.

ROBESON COUNTY, NC (WMBF) – A new state-of-the-art processing plant and chicken hatchery will bring about 1,100 new jobs to Robeson County over the next three years, according to an announcement from North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory.

Mississippi-based Sanderson Farms, the country's third-largest poultry producer, expected to invest about $139 million in the complex, which includes upgrades to the Kinston, N.C. feed mill.

"Sanderson Farms will have a huge positive impact on the Robeson County economy," said Governor McCrory. "When a strong, successful company brings 1,100 new jobs to North Carolina, especially a rural community, it is a game changer."

Sanderson Farms engages in the production, processing, marketing and distribution of fresh and frozen chicken, and other prepared food items.

"These jobs will average $29,000 a year. That's a payroll of 26 million dollars a year. If you take that and rotate it five times in the county, it comes out to be $130 million dollars," said Greg Cummings, the Director of the Robeson County Economic Development Commission.

Cummings said it is a huge win for the area.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the $29,000 salary will be nearly the same as the total median household income for residents of Robeson County.

"You'll have people working here from Dillon and other counties, they'll work across the lines," said Cummings as he mentioned how close Robeson County is to a network of interstates, making the area prime real estate for other plants.

Cummings also pointed out the company will offer training on site and will hire from within.

"Sanderson Farms expansion will provide a boost to the state's southeast region," said Secretary Skvarla. "We appreciate the company's commitment to not only increase its footprint in Robeson County, North Carolina, but also enhance its operation in Kinston."

The project was made possible, in part, by a performance based grant from the One North Carolina Fund of up to $1 million. The fund provides assistance through local governments to attract business projects to stimulate the state's economy.

"We are grateful for the cooperation from the economic development and governmental officials in St. Pauls, Robeson County and the State of North Carolina," said Joe F. Sanderson, chairman and chief executive officer of Sanderson Farms, Inc. "The additional capacity of 1.25 million birds per week represented by the new complex will provide new marketing opportunities for the Company in the fresh food service market."

According to Cummings, the construction on the plant in St. Pauls should begin this summer. The complex is expected to open by the end of 2016.

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