Plans announced for new poultry plant to create 1,000 jobs in NE AR

POCAHONTAS, AR (KAIT) - Plans for a new poultry plant coming to northeast Arkansas has been announced and lots of jobs along with it.

A news release from the Arkansas Economic Development Commission states Peco Foods announced plans for a new, fully integrated poultry facility in Randolph and Clay Counties.

The company plans to invest $165 million and add 1,000 new jobs.

A processing plant and hatchery will be located outside the Pocahontas city limits and a feed mill will be in Corning.

Peco first came to Arkansas in 2011 when the company acquired the Townsends Poultry Complex in Batesville. They also operate a feed mill in Newark.

"We have made a significant investment in that complex and results are surpassing our expectations," said Peco Foods President and CEO Mark Hickman.

Corning Mayor, Dewayne Phelan said this is exactly what they need to boost Corning's unemployment rate.

"We've lost so many jobs in the last decade," said Phelan.

However, future employees for Peco won't be the only ones that will benefit.

"We'll bring new business to grain farmers and chicken farmers in the area," said Hickman.

The construction for both locations will begin in two phases. The feed mill in Corning will start next month. Ground breaking will begin at the Pocahontas site for the processing plant and hatchery in July. Along with efforts between Peco Foods, Governor Beebe and leadership from Randolph and Clay County, Delta Regional Authority is also a part of bringing growth to Northeast Arkansas.

"We appreciate this opportunity to be a part of this project," said Chairman Chris Masingill.

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