BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (Feb. 2, 2022) – Today, Gov. Andy Beshear joined leaders from Tyson Foods and local officials in Warren County to break ground on Tyson’s new $355 million bacon production facility, which will create 450 jobs and meet growing demand for the company’s iconic Wright and Jimmy Dean brands.
“Tyson Foods announced this tremendous investment in Warren County just over three months ago, and I am thrilled to join the company’s leaders for today’s groundbreaking as they quickly move forward with the project,” Gov. Beshear said. “This commitment to create hundreds of jobs in Bowling Green is amazing news for the workforce throughout the region and builds on Tyson’s already impressive presence in our state. I look forward to our continued growth together.”
Officials broke ground on the 400,000-square-foot manufacturing operation in the Kentucky Transpark, which represents the single largest investment in a new facility in Bowling Green. The new Tyson location will produce Jimmy Dean and Wright brand bacon, known globally for its hand trimmed and thick cut, real wood smoked bacon. The new facility is expected to create 450 jobs with production beginning in late 2023.
“This is a historic day for Tyson Foods as we invest to meet the continued growth of our iconic Wright and Jimmy Dean brands,” said Noelle O’Mara, group president of Prepared Foods for Tyson Foods. “We’re grateful for the opportunity to build on our successful relationship with the state of Kentucky and look forward to contributing to the community in Bowling Green and Warren County.”
Tyson Foods is one of the world’s leading protein companies, producing a wide variety of pork, chicken and beef products for customers around the globe. The company maintains a prepared foods operation in Claryville and poultry operations in Albany and Robards. The company currently employs more than 3,900 people throughout Kentucky.
Today’s groundbreaking builds on Kentucky’s growing food, beverage and agritech industry, which includes more than 350 facilities and employs over 52,000 Kentucky residents. Since the start of 2020, new location and expansion projects within the sector are expected to create more than 2,600 full-time jobs with over $1.8 billion in new investments. The project also contributes to the commonwealth’s nearly 5,000 manufacturing facilities statewide, which employ more than 250,000 Kentuckians.
Warren County Judge/Executive Mike Buchanon thanked everyone who helped make the project possible.
“I’m excited that Tyson Foods has chosen to invest in our community and want to thank its leaders and our local and state economic development officials for working together to make this possible,” Judge Buchanon said. “This groundbreaking today 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.”
Bowling Green Mayor Todd Alcott welcomed Tyson to 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.”
Ron Bunch, president and CEO of the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce, looks forward to a successful long-term relationship with the company.
“We are thrilled to celebrate Tyson Foods’ groundbreaking today,” Bunch said. “I am confident that Tyson will be an exceptional corporate citizen to our wonderful community. We look forward to this diversification of our economy and working with Tyson to grow here well into the future.”
John Bradley, Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) senior vice president of economic development, noted the partnership needed to make the project possible.
“It’s always an exciting day when we can celebrate a company’s commitment to impactful job creation and investment in the region.” Bradley said. “TVA, along with our partners Warren Rural Electric Cooperative Corp., the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development and the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce are proud to support companies like Tyson Foods and look forward to its future business success in the commonwealth.”
Warren RECC President and CEO Dewayne McDonald said Tyson will positively impact the surrounding region.
“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 are grateful to have them as a member."
Tyson’s investment and planned job creation furthers recent economic momentum in the commonwealth, as the state builds back stronger from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In January alone, new and expanding private-sector businesses in Kentucky announced projects totaling nearly $670 million in new investments and more than 1,400 jobs.
That follows a 2021 during which the commonwealth shattered every economic development record in the books. Private-sector new-location and expansion announcements included a record $11.2 billion in total planned investment and commitments to create a record 18,000-plus full-time jobs across the coming years. Kentucky’s average incentivized hourly wage for projects statewide in 2021 was $24 before benefits, a 9.4% increase over the previous year.
In September, Gov. Beshear, Ford Motor Co. Executive Chair Bill Ford and CEO Jim Farley, along with 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.
Kentucky also saw an all-time, record-setting budget surplus in fiscal year 2021 and enters 2022 with an estimated $1.9 billion more than budgeted.
In addition, Kentucky recently placed seventh overall in Site Selection magazine’s annual Business Climate Rankings. The commonwealth ranked third nationally in the 2020 projects per capita ranking and fifth in the 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) in October 2021 preliminarily approved a performance-based incentive agreement with the company under the Kentucky Business Investment program.
Additionally, KEDFA approved Tyson for 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 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.