Koch Plans To Add Jobs, Invest Money At Former Tyson Plant

Koch Foods, which last month announced plans to buy the Tyson poultry plant here, will be adding 150 jobs in two years and investing $15.5 million in the plant.

When the sale of the plant was announced, Tyson said 400 of the 675 jobs at the plant would be eliminated. The sale of the plant was to be completed by the end of May.

The Gadsden City Council on Tuesday approved tax abatements for Koch for water pollution and odor control for the plant. The abatement includes exemptions for non-education taxes.

According to the application, the company plans to add at least 90 jobs the first year and 60 jobs the second year.

Mike McCain, executive director of the Gadsden-Etowah Industrial Development Authority, said the number of jobs Koch plans to add in the third and fourth years is not known.

McCain said in an interview after the council meeting that the IDA has been working with Tyson officials to find a place to park 200 cars because the company will offer jobs at its Albertville plant for 200 employees who now work at the plant here. McCain said the company also will provide transportation.

McCain expects employment by Koch, which has its headquarters in Park Ridge, Ill., eventually to reach the same level as Tyson’s employment before the plant was sold.

“Koch officials have said they intend to utilize 100 percent of the plant’s capacity,” he said. McCain said while Tyson had used the plant for further processing of chicken, Koch intends to use the plant for primary processing.

He said the IDA has been working with Koch on the project since the sale of the plant was announced.

By Andy Powell
Times Staff Writer