SIOUX CITY | The developers of a pork plant under construction in Sioux City are moving forward with plans for a second shift that will eventually increase the total number of jobs to around 2,000, nearly double the original estimate.
The expansion will raise the cost of the Seaboard Triumph Foods project by $31.4 million, to just over $300 million.
To help finance the larger investment, the company has asked the state for an additional $3.3 million in tax incentives.
In May 2015, the Iowa Economic Development Authority awarded $13.2 million in tax credits and sales and use tax refunds. At its monthly meeting in Des Moines Friday, the board is scheduled to consider a revision to its agreement with the company, a joint venture between Missouri-based Seaboard Foods and Oklahoma-based Triumph Foods.
The sprawling 600,000 square-foot plant, which would have the capacity to slaughter 10,000 to 12,000 hogs per day, is nearing construction in the city's Bridgeport West Business Park. It's expected to open July 31 with a single shift and around 1,100 employees.
Company leaders have talked openly in the past about the possibility of adding a second shift, but the request to the IEDA is the first public commitment to the expansion.
“We’ve been planning to do that and it just seems like a good time to do it,” said Irving Jensen III, Seaboard Triumph Foods director of community relations and government affairs. "We feel very confident in the labor market right now and it just seems like a lot is happening in the industry and it seems like a logical time to move forward.”
Jensen said the expansion would be modest since most of the complex has already been built. The addition would expand the footprint to about 950,000 square feet, and would increase freezer space, Jensen said.
The company expects to start up the second shift by May 2018, with total employment anticipated to increase to about 2,000.
A smaller number of jobs would qualify for state incentives. Under its revised application with the state, the company pledges to create at least 256 jobs under the state's High Quality Job Creation Program, or HQJP, program, up 54 from May 2015, and no fewer than 713 jobs under the state’s Targeted Job Withholding Tax Credit program. The latter is reversed for new or expanding employers in border cities like Sioux City.
The expansion would increase the company's tax credits under the Targeted Jobs by $2.4 million, from $7.65 million to $10 million, over a 10-year period. Under HQJP, the company's refund of sales and use tax on construction materials would grow by $601,950, from $3.16 million to $3.76 million.
Since the fall of 2015, hundreds of construction workers have been deployed to build the sprawling plant, which is modeled after Triumph Foods' state-of-the-art plant in St. Joseph.
The new factory's annual payroll in excess of $50 million and spending on economic materials, supplies and services is expected to ripple through the local economy, creating new sales for a host of ancillary businesses, from truck drivers to pallet makers to cold storage warehouses.