HARRIS COUNTY, GA (WTVM) - Gov. Nathan Deal announced Thursday that Koch Foods will expand its poultry processing facility in Hamilton, creating 750 new jobs and investing $49 million.
Koch Foods is one of only five vertically integrated food processors in the nation.
"Georgia is the top producer of poultry in the United States and Koch Foods is one of the reasons why," said Deal. "Our network of supporting resources and experience makes our state ideal for any existing company to expand its operations and remain competitive. We are committed to helping our producers grow, to creating opportunities for citizens and to making our state the No. 1 place in the nation to do business."
Koch purchased an existing Cagle's facility in 2012, retaining 350 jobs. During a two-phase expansion, the company added 350 jobs last year. This second phase, incorporating two new processing lines, will create an additional 750 new jobs. Prior to Koch's acquisition of the former Cagle's facility in June, the workforce had been reduced by 50 percent since 2010.
"Harris County is excited about Koch Foods' acquisition of the former Cagle's plant in Pine Mountain Valley and Koch's plans to bring the facility up to full capacity by offering people in our region the opportunity to work for a first-class company," said chairman of the Harris County Commission J. Harry Lange. "I would like to thank the Georgia Department of Economic Development, the Georgia Public Service Commission, Liberty Utilities, and the Valley Partnership, the economic development arm of the Columbus Chamber of Commerce, for all their hard work and commitment to make this project a reality."
"We are happy to announce our company's expansion in Harris County," said Koch Foods' Vice President of the Western Division Tommy Knight. "The attitude displayed by the people who helped us along the way affirms our commitment to invest in this community and continue the relationships that we have developed."
The Georgia Department of Economic Development collaborated with the Valley Partnership, the Harris County Commission and the Harris County Development Authority to manage this project. The Georgia Department of Economic Development's existing industry project manager Candice Scott assisted the company on behalf of the state.
"This is a great example of the important role Georgia's existing companies play in supporting our economy," said Georgia Department of Economic Development Commissioner Chris Cummiskey. "Thanks to the collective efforts of all involved, this expansion will have long-term benefits for Harris County and its area farmers, as well as for the state's agribusiness economy."
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