The Gerber Products Company is expanding its manufacturing facility in Fort Smith, adding a new product line.
Gerber will be investing $30 million into the facility through the addition of new food manufacturing and food processing equipment, as well as through infrastructure improvements. This new expansion is expected to create 50 new full-time jobs.
The Fort Smith facility produces 1st Foods®, 2nd Foods® and 3rd Foods® purees in plastic and glass containers, as well as Gerber Graduates Meat Sticks and infant cereals.
“We appreciate the state of Arkansas and the city of Fort Smith’s partnership and participation in supporting our project,” Gerber President and CEO Bill Partyka said in a statement. “Gerber has had a long-standing relationship with the state of Arkansas and the Fort Smith community, and we look forward to continuing that relationship for many years to come.”
The Fort Smith Board of Directors approved the issuance of $30 million in industrial revenue bonds on July 7 in order to secure the Gerber project. These bonds are designed to help finance the facility expansion, retaining 480 employees.
According to a Department of Commerce news release, Gerber is entering into a payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) agreement, which will abate up to 65 percent of property taxes for 15 years.