Tyson announces new venture in Independence - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Tyson announces new venture in Independence

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by John Wilmer

INDEPENDENCE (KWWL) -- There's reason tonight for economic celebration in independence.. Tyson has announced plans to move back into its old facility next year. The plant closed in 2006 and about 360 people lost their jobs.

In a news conference Tyson officials finally confirmed what many had been speculating that they were coming back to town. This time they won't be producing pork products, but instead they will be focusing on pet treats. 

"For us this was about building a single manufacturing center of excellence to support our entire pet treats business," said Dave Hogberg of Tyson Foods.

The move was made possible through work by Tyson and the local community.

"Involvement from the city, the county, and the state to make sure this would be welcome and have a partnership atmosphere from the get go," said Tammy Rasmussen of the Independence Chamber of Commerce.

The plant will employ 60 people when it gets up and running early next year. Tyson is hoping to expand the business over the next couple of years adding 40 more employees. 

"The whole community was excited about the number of jobs, the opening of the plant and not having a building here that's just deteriorating all the time," said Independence Mayor Frank Brimmer.

"There is a need and there is a desire. My office has already fielded phone calls just trying to determine if there was any truth to the rumors and they are very anxious to place applications and pursue those jobs," said Rasmussen.

Tyson will start taking applications for the 60 positions early next month.

Online Reporter: John Wilmer

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