Tyson announces expansion of Sherman plant

Tyson Foods, Inc. announced Friday that it anticipates hiring 70 new workers and investing $5.6 million in its Sherman plant.

The local plant, which was named Large Business of the Year at last week’s annual Sherman Chamber of Commerce awards luncheon, is one of four Tyson plants the company has poured more than $40 million into recently. Expansion projects are currently underway at the Sherman and Goodlettsville, Tenn. plants. An expansion project was recently completed in Glen Allen, Va., and the Tyson subsidiary the Bruss Company recently opened in Jacksonville, Fla.

“These are major investments we believe will help us maintain our position as a leader in the case-ready business at two strategic locations, and in chicken and steaks with some of our key food service customers,” Tyson President and CEO Donnie Smith said. “All of these are prime locations because of the existing facilities and access to an excellent workforce.”

The expansion in Sherman will include the installation of new equipment and production lines as part of an effort to meet customer demand for case-ready beef and pork — meats that are cut, packaged and made ready for retail grocers to place directly into the meat case. Expansions, equipment installations and hiring for the new positions are expected to be complete by the end of April.

The Sherman plant employs around 1,500 people and had a payroll of more than $49 million in 2012. It produces beef, ground beef and pork products, including closely trimmed steaks, chops, roasts and spare ribs.

“Tyson continues the strategy of adding value to our commodity products for retail customers and consumers,” Senior Vice President Gary Sheneman said. “We’re pleased to be able to create jobs in both cities. They’ve been great supporters of Tyson Foods throughout the years.”