Job seekers brave cold to apply at Tyson

by Meat&Poultry Staff
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BERRYVILLE, Ark. – A number of people recently camped out overnight in subfreezing temperatures for a chance to apply for jobs at the Tyson Foods Employment office in Berryville, according to the Carroll County News. The story chronicled three women who camped out Monday night for 12 hours in front of the office to be first in line when the office opened at 7:30 a.m. to get a Tyson job application.

Such a scene has become commonplace at Tyson‘s employment office in recent years because more people in this tough economy need year-round jobs with benefits. Tyson said it is adding jobs, although it cannot keep up with the demand.

According to the report, hourly starting pay for new production jobs is $10.50 for day shift and $10.90 for the night shift. Tyson also provides benefits such as health, dental, vision and prescription drug insurance, paid vacations and holidays, a retirement savings plan and stock purchase plan.

As part of continuing efforts to operate more efficiently, Tyson is starting a new chicken deboning process at its Berryville and Green Forest plants, said Tyson spokesman Gary Mickelson. As a result, new processing equipment will be installed, approximately 200 to 250 production jobs will be added at the Berryville plant and about 50 production positions at Green Forest. Tyson generally takes 40 to 50 employment applications two times a month, Mickelson said.

Because jobs seekers have consistently been more in number than the number of applications handed out, people often start lining up early outside the employment center to be among the first to get an application, he said.

Recent changes in operations means employment at Berryville will increase from 1,260 to about 1,500 people. "Including our Green Forest and live production operations, our overall employment in Carroll County will increase from just over 2,900 to about 3,200 team members,” Mickelson said.
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