Koch Foods brings 750 jobs to Harris County - WRBL

Koch Foods brings 750 jobs to Harris County

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PINE MOUNTAIN VALLEY, Ga. -

A chicken processing facility in Harris County will bring 750 new jobs to the valley.

Koch Foods bought the failing Cagle's facility in Pine Mountain Valley in 2012, doubling the existing workforce of 350. Now the company is growing even more.

Governor Nathan Deal announced Koch Foods' $49 million investment into the JCG chicken factory Thursday. The expansion includes the addition of two new processing lines and 750 new workers on-site.

The facility is also bringing in a new natural gas line to accommodate the progress. Harris County Chamber of Commerce President Jayson Johnston says, "The opportunity for growth is based on several things that have been in the works such as utilities, getting the right utilities there to be able to enable them to grow, so those things have been in the process all the way up to the state level and those things take time."

Greater Columbus Chamber of Commerce President Mike Gaymon is excited about what the expansion means for the valley. "It's a home run when you can get new jobs," he says, "new capital investment located anywhere in our region because a lot of these folks live in Muscogee County or live in Russell County or live in the surrounding counties, not just Harris County."

Besides jobs at the factory, the growth will expand into the community, creating jobs in construction, utility, and chicken farms that provide to the plant.

"Somebody's got to grow those chickens," says Gaymon, "so there are going to be farmers who are producing poultry for the purpose of selling to that facility, and then you've got to have drivers, so that means the trucking industry is going to have more, etc. So it's a circle of jobs."

Johnston says the ripple effect will continue for years to come. "We're going to see even more jobs created down the road and I think it just continues to build our economy locally."

In the press release Thursday Koch Foods' regional Vice President Tommy Knight said the company is happy to continue developing relationships in this community.

Georgia is the top producer of poultry in the country.

Jessi Mitchell

Jessi joined the WRBL news team in October 2012 after working as a freelance production assistant for MTV Networks in Los Angeles.
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