Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Raleigh, N.C. -Governor Pat McCrory, North Carolina Commerce Secretary John E. Skvarla, III, and the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina (EDPNC) announced today that The Hillshire Brands Company will create 98 jobs over the next three years as it expands its bakery operations in Edgecombe County. The company plans to invest $28.4 million to upgrade and improve the Tarboro facility over that time.

“Hillshire Brands is among the nation’s most prominent names in consumer foods and a perfect fit for our state’s value-added food and beverage industry,” said Governor McCrory.“This company’s continued growth is leading to job creation for Edgecombe County and evidence of our rebuilding economy.”

Hillshire Brands is a subsidiary of Tyson Foods, Inc. (NYSE: TSN), one of the world’s largest food companies, which was founded in 1935 and is based in Springdale, Arkansas. Its facility in Tarboro produces the company’s Sara Lee® line of baked goods. The company’s other brands include Hillshire Farm®, BallPark® and Jimmy Dean®.

“Our robust infrastructure, ready talent, convenient access to consumer markets and competitive cost structure all make North Carolina the ideal location for food manufacturers,” said Secretary Skvarla. “Nothing compares to North Carolina as a state where people and companies make things, and that includes good food.”

Hillshire Brands’ Tarboro facility opened in 2000 as part of what was then Sara Lee Corporation. The company employs an existing workforce of 687. Its expanded workforce will add nearly $3 million to Hillshire’s annual payroll there.

“We’re glad to invest in our Tarboro plant, which will mean more jobs for the city,” said Wes Morris, president of prepared foods for Tyson Foods. “The existing infrastructure, location and availability of a qualified workforce make the plant ideal for this expansion project.”

The project was made possible in part by a performance-based grant of up to $300,000 from the One North Carolina Fund, Edgecombe County, and the town of Tarboro. The One NC Fund provides financial assistance, through local governments, to attract business projects that will stimulate economic activity and create new jobs in the state. Companies receive no money up front and must meet job creation and investment performance standards to qualify for grant funds. One NC grants also require and are contingent on financial matches from local governments.

Numerous state and local allies worked with EDPNC and N.C. Commerce in supporting Hillshire Brands’ expansion. They include the North Carolina General Assembly, the North Carolina Community College System, Edgecombe County, the Town of Tarboro and the Carolinas Gateway Partnership.