Tyson Foods is expanding its poultry operations in Arkansas, with plans to invest $48 million to accelerate the growth of its Pine Bluff poultry plant.
Established in 1991, the Pine Bluff facility produces fully cooked chicken products, intended for both food service and retail. As part of this expansion, Tyson announced that it would be increasing the capacity of the processing lines, which produce chicken tenders and chicken strips, as well as boneless and bone-in wings and air-fried products. Tyson will automate the product packing lines, in addition to the food manufacturing expansion.
Currently, the Pine Bluff plant employs approximately 1,100 individuals. The company estimates that the expansion will create 70 new jobs. In the 2020 fiscal year, Tyson reported paying roughly $47 million in wages.
“The demand for convenient, high-quality chicken products continues to grow and we’re investing in projects that meet the needs of our customers and consumers,” Donnie King, chief operating officer and group president of Tyson Foods’ poultry division, said in a statement. “We’d like to thank the Arkansas Economic Development Commission and the Economic Development Alliance for Jefferson County for their assistance and support of this project.”
The expansion project is slated to be complete by late 2021.
“Tyson Foods is a homegrown company that has forever altered the economic landscape in Arkansas,” Secretary of Commerce and Arkansas Economic Development Commission director Mike Preston said. “Poultry production is responsible for about 25 percent of the agriculture jobs in Arkansas, making the state one of the top five broiler producer states in the country. This expansion is a direct reflection of Tyson’s commitment to the Pine Bluff community and the confidence they have in our workforce.”
According to a Tyson release, the company had a statewide economic impact of $2.1 billion in fiscal year 2020.