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Mountaire Invests in North Carolina Plant

by 5m Editor
19 April 2010, at 9:18am

NORTH CAROLINA (NC), US - A state grant it help Mountaire Farms expand in Lumber Bridge, bringing 51 jobs and $17.9 million investment to Robeson County.

Governor Bev Perdue of NC has announced that Mountaire Farms Inc., an international supplier of processed chicken and chicken products, will expand in Robeson County. The company will invest $17.9 million and create 51 jobs in the next three years. The announcement was made possible in part by a $150,000 grant from the One North Carolina Fund.

Governor Perdue said: "Creating jobs is my top priority. Helping successful companies to grow jobs and make critical investment in our communities is vital. Our state's top-rate business climate and skilled workers are attracting businesses looking for the perfect location to expand and succeed."

Mountaire Farms Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Mountaire Corp. in Arkansas. The company is a fully integrated operation that produces eggs through contract breeders, operates hatcheries in Maryland, Delaware and NC, grows chickens through contract growers and runs its own feed mills. Mountaire Farms also processes, packages and distributes its products to retail, food services and institutional customers in more than 40 countries.

The company employs more than 2,400 workers in NC, including operations in Chatham, Iredell, Montgomery, Robeson and Stanly counties. The company plans to increase production at its Lumber Bridge processing plant by adding cold freezer storage space. While wages will vary by job function, the new jobs will pay an average annual wage of $27,553, not including benefits, which exceeds the Robeson County average annual wage of $25,948.

Scott Varner, director of operations for Mountaire in NC, said: "With help from the state, Robeson County and many others, expanding operations in NC will provide us with the most cost-effective means of expanding production, improving logistics throughout our value chain and growing our position as a globally competitive food producer.

"Our NC complex is one of the largest in the nation. The plant in Lumber Bridge processes over 100 million chickens and produces over 780 million pounds of chicken products per year. By locating the new facility in NC, we can take advantage of product-freezing technology to increase the quality of Mountaire's export products."

The One NC Fund provides financial assistance, through local governments, to attract business projects that will stimulate economic activity and create new jobs in the state. Companies receive no money up front and must meet job creation and investment performance standards to qualify for grant funds. These grants also require and are contingent upon local matches.

Senator Michael Walters added: "During these tough economic times, it's critical to make the investments we need to grow jobs in Robeson County and that will allow companies to grow and thrive."