Wayne Farms is implementing a major equipment installation to its current facility in rural Laurel, Mississippi in order to expand its Ladybird line of poultry products. Ladybird is a line of humanely raised female chicken products. The 99,000 square foot facility partners with 96 local family growers who raise the chickens before they are sent to the Wayne Farms facility for processing. Currently, the facility can only process whole chickens. The new equipment that will be purchased and installed as part of this project will add an automated breast de-boner and expand packaging capabilities.
- Total Project Cost: $17 million
- MuniStrategies Allocation: $8 million (additional $1 million from another CDE)
- Economic: With poultry being a major economic engine for this portion of rural Mississippi, this serves as an catalyst for dozens of family owned poultry farms located in low income, rural areas that derive their livelihood from a local ecosystem of sourcing and processing poultry. It will also serve to stabilize a major employer for the long term. It is estimated that the indirect financial impact of this expansion will be over $30 million annually.
- Jobs: The Project will create 201 new jobs, 191 of which are accessible to low to moderate income residents of the community. All jobs created will be above the living wage with an average hourly starting salary of $13.05, compared to the living wage of $10.61/hr. Over half of the employees belong to the United Food and Commercial Workers Union.
- Community: Due to Wayne Farms’ history of creating quality jobs and being a recognized community partner, the Project has the support of the City of Laurel, the Jones County Board of Supervisors and the Economic Development Authority of Jones County. Wayne Farms is involved in local Laurel community organizations such as Salvation Army Angel Tree, Contributions to the United Way, Relay for Life, Local Emergency Management, and Jones Country Leadership.
- Workforce Development: The Company has committed to $50,000 per year in critical workforce training (or $350,000 for the compliance period). Currently, Wayne Farms works with Jones County Community College to provide training and education programs primarily for their Maintenance Roles ranging from Refrigeration Training to some Electrical and Mechanical training.
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