“For that part of the project, we'll need approximately 500 houses,” he added – an investment totaling approximately $170 million to support the local complex.
The company first notified the City of Palestine of its intent to build facilities in the region in February 2013, with an operations start date slated for January 2015. Stop the clock today, and all appears on schedule.
The $17 million, 65,000 square foot hatchery facility is under construction in Willow Creek Business Park off S. Loop 256 in Palestine, as well as the $75 million, 70,000 square foot processing facility off U.S. Highway 79 South.
Also in motion, Billingsley said the company still is in the process of hiring employees to staff the new facilities. The complex is expected to bring more than 1,000 full-time jobs to the area, adding an annual payroll of more than $21 million to Anderson County.
Billingsley said the local labor pool was one of the main factors Sanderson Farms considered when deciding where to build the new poultry processing complex. That, and the fact there's a railroad, since the corn and soy bean meal that makes up the chickens' feed is transported by rail.
Billingsley said they'd already “hired a good number of people” for salaried management positions, though there are more spots available, as well as for hourly staff positions.
He said people could apply by application on the website at http://www.sandersonfarms.com/careers/open-positions.
Billingsley said the new hires are being transported to a Sanderson Farms facility in Waco for training.
“That is one of the things that has made this process of hiring people so good — we've got a facility close by in Waco that will allow those people to be trained and prepared once our facilities open in 2015.”