FRANKFORT, Ky. (Oct. 28, 2021) – Today, Gov. Andy Beshear announced one of the largest investment and job-creation projects and the single largest investment in a new facility in Bowling Green, as Tyson Foods moved forward with plans for a $355 million manufacturing operation, which will create 450 full-time jobs.
“Today, I am proud to announce one of the largest investments in Warren County’s history, and this is a community that has had no shortage of economic success in recent years,” Gov. Beshear said. “Tyson Foods has a longstanding presence in the commonwealth, and its leaders’ vision for the future will make the company a great fit for Bowling Green and the surrounding region.”
The company will build a 400,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in the Kentucky Transpark for production of Jimmy Dean and Wright Brand bacon, which is known worldwide for its hand-trimmed and thick-cut real wood smoked bacon. Company leaders anticipate construction will be complete in late 2023.
“We are excited to be a part of the Warren County and Kentucky communities that will help us continue to provide the iconic Wright Brand and Jimmy Dean products our consumers and customers desire,” said Noelle O’Mara, group president, prepared foods for Tyson Foods. “As people actively look to add more protein to their diets, Tyson is uniquely positioned as a category leader to meet that growing demand.”
Tyson Foods is one of the world’s leading protein companies and produces a wide variety of pork, chicken and beef products for customers worldwide.
The company has prepared foods operations in Claryville and poultry operations in Albany and Robards. In total, the company currently employs more than 3,900 people throughout Kentucky.
Tyson Foods’ commitment adds to Kentucky’s thriving food, beverage and agritech sector, which includes more than 350 facilities and employs over 52,000 people. Since the start of 2020, new location and expansion projects within the industry are expected to create more than 2,000 full-time jobs with over $1.4 billion in new investments. The project also adds to the commonwealth’s nearly 5,000 manufacturing facilities statewide, which employ more than 250,000 Kentucky residents.
Warren County Judge/Executive Mike Buchanon said the project highlights the region’s ability to serve businesses of every size.
“I’m excited to have Tyson Foods invest in our community and want to thank its leaders and our local and state economic development officials for working together to make this announcement possible,” Judge/Executive Buchanon said. “An investment of this magnitude is a testament to their confidence in our community and we take that very seriously. This decision is further proof that our community has so much to offer businesses, from a diverse and highly trained workforce to a quality of life that is second to none. I’m looking forward to working with Tyson Foods to achieve even more exciting milestones in the future.”
Bowling Green Mayor Todd Alcott welcomed the latest global brand to make its home in the community.
“Job creation of this magnitude by Tyson Foods is an investment in the future of the people of Bowling Green,” Mayor Alcott said. “Tyson Foods is a highly recognizable symbol in homes across the world, and we are excited to now call them a member of our community. We appreciate Tyson Foods’ investment in our community and the high-quality opportunities they will bring to our citizens.”
Ron Bunch, president and CEO of the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce, said Tyson Foods will be a great fit for Warren County and its workforce.
“It was a pleasure to work with Tyson Foods officials and their consultants during their rigorous evaluation of our community,” Bunch said. “This commitment to create a multitude of quality jobs through a major investment by Tyson Foods is absolutely amazing. Additionally, I am confident that Tyson Foods will be an exceptional corporate citizen to our wonderful community. We look forward to this diversification of our economy and working with Tyson Foods to grow here well into the future.”
TVA Senior Vice President of Economic Development John Bradley applauded the company’s ability to create jobs.
“TVA and Warren Rural Electric Cooperative Corp. (WRECC) congratulate Tyson Foods on its decision to establish operations and create hundreds of new jobs in Bowling Green,” Bradley said. “Helping to attract and retain job opportunities and investment to the region is fundamental to TVA’s mission of service and we are proud to partner with the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development and the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce to help further that mission and support companies like Tyson Foods’ business success in the valley.”
Dewayne McDonald, president and CEO of WRECC, embraced the company’s commitment to Bowling Green.
“Warren RECC is excited to welcome Tyson Foods to the Kentucky Transpark,” McDonald said. “This project will have a substantial positive impact on our local economy, and we look forward to having them as a member.”
Tyson Foods’ investment and planned job creation furthers recent economic momentum in the commonwealth, as the state builds back stronger following the effects of the pandemic.
In September, Gov. Beshear, Ford Motor Co. Executive Chair Bill Ford, CEO Jim Farley and Dong-Seob Jee, president of SK Innovation’s battery business, announced the single largest economic development project in the history of the commonwealth, celebrating a transformative $5.8 billion investment that will create 5,000 jobs and places Kentucky at the forefront of the automotive industry’s future.
In July, thanks to strong fiscal management by the Beshear administration, the state budget office reported the commonwealth ended the 2021 fiscal year with a general fund surplus of over $1.1 billion – the highest ever in the commonwealth – and a 10.9% increase in general fund receipts to $12.8 billion.
This year, the commonwealth has shattered every economic development record in the books for yearly investment totals. Year-to-date, private-sector new-location and expansion announcements include over $10 billion in total planned investment and the creation of 14,000-plus full-time jobs across the coming years. Through September, Kentucky’s average incentivized hourly wage is $24.15 before benefits, a 10% increase over the previous year.
In May, Moody’s Analytics published a positive economic outlook for Kentucky, noting mass vaccination as the driving force behind a sustained recovery in consumer services. The state’s recovery, Moody’s said, benefited from earlier reopening efforts and increased demand for manufactured goods over services. The report also found Kentucky’s manufacturing industry outperformed the nation’s since the national downturn last year.
Fitch Ratings in May improved the state’s financial outlook to stable, reflecting the commonwealth’s solid economic recovery. The state’s April sales tax receipts set an all-time monthly record at $486.5 million, as did vehicle usage tax receipts at over $64 million.
In March, Site Selection magazine’s annual Governor’s Cup rankings for 2020 positioned Kentucky atop the South Central region, and third nationally, for qualifying projects per capita. The commonwealth also placed seventh overall in total projects, the highest of any state with a population under 5 million. Site Selection also recently placed Kentucky in a tie for fifth in its 2021 Prosperity Cup rankings, positioning the state among the national leaders for business climate.
To encourage investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) today preliminarily approved a 15-year incentive agreement with the company under the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based agreement can provide up to $10 million in tax incentives based on the company’s investment of $355.19 million and annual targets of:
- Creation and maintenance of 450 Kentucky-resident, full-time jobs across 15 years; and
- Paying an average hourly wage of $28 including benefits across those jobs.
Additionally, KEDFA approved Tyson Foods for up to $3 million in tax incentives through the Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act (KEIA). KEIA allows approved companies to recoup Kentucky sales and use tax on construction costs, building fixtures, equipment used in research and development and electronic processing.
By meeting its annual targets over the agreement term, the company can be eligible to keep a portion of the new tax revenue it generates. The company may claim eligible incentives against its income tax liability and/or wage assessments.
In addition, Tyson Foods can receive resources from Kentucky’s workforce service providers. Those include no-cost recruitment and job placement services, reduced-cost customized training and job-training incentives.
For more information on Tyson Foods, visit TysonFoods.com.
A detailed community profile for Warren County can be viewed here.
More information on the Governor’s AgriTech Initiative is available at AgriTech.ky.gov.
Information on Kentucky’s economic development efforts and programs is available at CED.ky.gov. Fans of the Cabinet for Economic Development can also join the discussion at facebook.com/CEDkygov, on Twitter @CEDkygov, Instagram @CEDkygov and LinkedIn.