PITTSYLVANIA COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) — On Thursday morning, Gov. Ralph Northam joined both local and regional officials at the Cane Creek Centre in Ringgold to celebrate the groundbreaking of Tyson Foods’ $300 million manufacturing facility, which is expected to open in 2023 and create more than 376 jobs.

“Tyson has a deep history in rural America, and they’ve set a national example on responding to COVID. Their employees are safer for it, and we’re thrilled to see the company put down roots in southern Virginia,” said Northam. “The Danville-Pittsylvania County area has built a true economic development resurgence, and that continues to pay off with new jobs and investment from companies like Tyson. Tyson’s continued growth and investments are a testament to Virginia’s workforce and strong business environment, and we congratulate them on this new facility and look forward to many more years of success.”

According to a statement released by Pittsylvania County on Thursday, Oct. 21, this 325,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art facility will be used primarily to produce fully-cooked, Tyson branded chicken products.

“It is exciting to finally break ground on such a highly anticipated project which will strengthen the Commonwealth’s long-standing partnership with Tyson Foods and provide a tremendous economic boost to Danville-Pittsylvania County and the surrounding region,” Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball said. “Southern Virginia offers Tyson a highly-skilled workforce and strategic access to major U.S. markets, and we thank the company for investing in the region and creating hundreds of quality jobs for its citizens.”

“Dating back to the early 1900’s and regarded by many as the home of modern-day poultry production, it is safe to say that Virginia has a rich history and strong connection to the poultry industry – the Commonwealth’s largest agriculture sector. Virginia’s thriving poultry industry is critical to the Commonwealth’s economy, supporting nearly 1,100 family farms and employing more than 17,500 Virginians,” said Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Bettina Ring. “I am thrilled to celebrate this groundbreaking for Tyson Foods’ new state-of-the-art prepared foods production facility. It is industry leaders with visionary investments like the one we are celebrating today that will keep Virginia at the forefront of food and beverage manufacturing in the U.S., while also supporting our local farmers.”

Officials say Tyson Foods, Inc. was founded in 1935 and has grown under three generations of family leadership, creating a broad portfolio of products and brands. That includes Tyson, Jimmy Dean, Hillshire Farm, Ball Park, Wright, Aidells, ibp, and State Fair.

This Arkansas-based company reportedly has almost 140,000 employees, including more than 2,000 across Virginia in hatchery, grain, and processing operations in Henrico County and in Temperanceville.

In addition to the job and capital investment commitments, Tyson Foods plans to purchase approximately 60 million pounds of Virginia-grown chicken over the next three years, Pittsylvania County says.

“We’ve worked successfully in the Commonwealth of Virginia for decades and are investing in a new facility here because our customers and consumers continue to want more high-quality Tyson brand chicken in their stores, homes and restaurants,” David Bray, Group President of Poultry for Tyson Foods, stated. “We’re thankful for the invitation to become a part of the Danville and Pittsylvania County communities, the support from both state and local leaders, and the presence of such a strong workforce in the region.”

The Cane Creek Centre is located in Pittsylvania County, just outside the City of Danville. The industrial park — which was developed by the Danville-Pittsylvania Regional Industrial Facility Authority as a joint economic development initiative between the two localities — features a number of renowned companies, including AeroFarms, Morgan Olson, and Walraven, according to officials.

“As Tyson Foods breaks ground on what is the largest capital investment in Pittsylvania County’s history, I am extremely excited by the positive economic momentum we are experiencing across our region,” said Chairman Bob Warren of the Pittsylvania County Board of Supervisors. “Between the capital investments, the 376 new, high-quality jobs for citizens of Danville, Pittsylvania County, and beyond, and the indirect economic impacts, we know that this facility will have a huge impact on our entire region. I am confident that Tyson Foods will be a pillar in our community for years to come.”

(Video: Courtesy Tyson Foods, Inc. via Pittsylvania County)

“Tyson Foods will be a great addition to the Cane Creek Centre, which is just outside our city limits,” said Mayor Alonzo Jones . “As we celebrate this milestone, let us once again celebrate the partnerships in place that brought us to this point. Together, economic development activity in our city and region is as high as it has been in at least the past decade, and we are excited that a company as well-known and respected as Tyson Foods is part of our future.

“I am incredibly proud of the continued development that we are seeing at the Cane Creek Centre in Ringgold,” Joe Davis, Dan River District Supervisor, said. “To have Tyson Foods, a household name and food industry pillar, choose to make such a significant investment right here in our community is a testament to the quality business environment Pittsylvania County has developed. I am grateful for Tyson’s commitment to provide quality employment for so many people across our region and am excited to see the positive economic impact that this facility has across our region and the entire state.”

“Tyson is a company that is well-known for providing consumers with top-quality food products, and our region is proud to play a role in the company’s continued success,” said Sherman Saunders, chairman of the Danville-Pittsylvania Regional Industrial Facility Authority. “Today’s groundbreaking marks a milestone moment, and I am excited to see what the future has in store for the company and the state-of-the-art facility that it will build here.”

According to Thursday’s statement, the Virginia Economic Development Partnership and the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services worked with Pittsylvania County, the City of Danville, the Danville-Pittsylvania Regional Industrial Development Authority, the Southern Virginia Regional Alliance, and the General Assembly’s Major Employment and Investment Project Approval Commission to secure the project for the Commonwealth.

The company was not only approved to receive grants from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund, Virginia Investment Performance Grant, and the Tobacco Region Opportunity Fund, but it is also eligible to receive other assistance from the Virginia Enterprise Zone Program and the Virginia Talent Accelerator Program, officials say.

“I am delighted that Tyson’s has chosen to come to the region,” said state Sen. Frank Ruff. “They were pleased with what the area offered them as an employer, and we were pleased with the Tyson leadership team that they will be a quality employer and asset to the community.”

“We enthusiastically welcome Tyson to our region,” Del. Danny Marshall said. “I had the privilege of meeting with the Tyson team. The company will hire 400 local citizens and invest $300 million that will help build the local tax base. One of the best parts for our community is how well Tyson treats their employees. Tyson will be a great fit.”

“This is an exciting day for Pittsylvania County and all of Southern Virginia. I’m pleased that the Tobacco Commission is playing a role in bringing this project, and the hundreds of jobs it will create, to Pittsylvania County,” said Tobacco Commission Executive Director Evan Feinman. “It is also great to see the Commission’s long-term investments in Cane Creek Centre continue to pay dividends. This project shows that with strategic investment and strong partnerships Southern Virginia can compete with anyone and attract top employers.”

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