It's good news, bad news for Siouxland. One community stands to gain jobs while another could lose them.
Tyson Fresh Meats announced Thursday it will expand its Dakota City plant, adding nearly 200 jobs. But that gain could cost the community of Denison, Iowa.
Tyson calls it a multi-million dollar project at its flagship plant in Dakota City, Nebraska to maximize efficiencies. They'll be making technological improvements to its beef slaughter floor as well as sanitation and production systems, among other changes at the 50 year old plant. And officials say that will mean the addition of nearly 200 production jobs by next year.
"We're always looking for more ways to be more efficient, particularly in this economy, and particularly in this beef market. The beef business for a meat processor like Tyson Foods is very difficult right now. But we are looking for ways to upgrade and improve our operations," said Gary Mickelson.
But the streamlining and expansion in Dakota City could likely spell the closure of Tyson's plant in Denison, Iowa. Currently, that plant supplies supplemental beef carcasses to the Dakota City plant. But Tyson officials say with the economy and current cattle supply, it may not make sense to keep both plants up and running.
"This is difficult to consider. It's difficult to consider the possibility of closing our Denison facility, given its long history, and the potential impact on our team members. However, unless area cattle supplies increase significantly, it may make economic sense to discontinue operations there," said Gary Mickelson.
Mickelson says a decision on whether or not to close the Denison plant will not come until sometime next year. The Denison plant has been in operation since 1961.
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