Bell & Evans break ground on new, $44M plant

by Kimberlie Clyma
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BETHEL TOWNSHIP, Pa. – Governor Tom Corbett joined Bell & Evans, a leading processor of air-chilled poultry, at its groundbreaking ceremony Wednesday for the company’s new 158,000-sq.-ft. poultry processing and packaging plant that is expected to create 380 full-time jobs in Fredericksburg, Lebanon County in three years. The company will invest more than $44 million in construction, new equipment and employee training.

“We are building a stronger Pennsylvania by partnering with companies like Bell & Evans who are creating 380 new jobs for the people of the region,” Corbett said.

“This project is going to be a world-class, showplace of a processing plant that will produce the Bell & Evans brand of natural and organic poultry,” said Scott Sechler, Chairman and President, Sechler Family Foods, Inc., parent company of Farmers Pride Inc. and Bell & Evans. “Pennsylvania, Lebanon County, Bethel Township is the best place in the U.S.A. to do it.”

According to a release from Gov. Corbett, this project was coordinated by the Governor’s Action Team, an experienced group of economic development professionals who report directly to the Governor and work with businesses that are considering locating or expanding in Pennsylvania. The Lebanon Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC) also collaborated on this project.

"Bell & Evans has been a valuable asset for many years to our local economy. We are very pleased and excited that this new manufacturing facility will be built in Lebanon County," said Susan Eberly, President, LVEDC. "We were glad that we could assist them during the process. They have been steadfast and diligent with creating a working environment that is beneficial to many county employees."

The Department of Community and Economic Development offered a $171,000 Guaranteed Free Training grant for job training. Additional funding includes a $750,000 Pennsylvania First Program grant that facilitates investment and job creation and $760,000 in tax credits related to job creation; and a $400,000 PennDot Transportation Infrastructure Investment grant.

Bell & Evans is a leading producer of antibiotic-free, air-chilled chickens. The company employs approximately 1,145 workers at its headquarters in Fredericksburg, Lebanon County.
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