VIENNA, Ga. – Tyson Foods, Inc. announced plans to invest $110 million to convert the company's Vienna, Ga. poultry plant to supply fresh tray pack chicken.

The plant has been producing Chicken for foodservice customers, but the conversion will enable Tyson to supply fresh tray pack chicken to meet demand from regional retail customers.

“The existing infrastructure, location and the availability of workers make the Vienna plant ideal for this expansion project,” said Noel White, president of poultry for Tyson Foods. “This project will improve the plant’s product mix and make it even more cost competitive.”

The capital improvement project includes upgrades to parts of the plant and the addition of about 100,000 sq. ft., according to Tyson. The Vienna plant will feature new equipment and production lines and processes and technology designed to enhance food safety, quality and workplace safety. Tyson expects the project to be completed by mid-2015.

Tyson acquired the Vienna plant in 1995. The facility currently employs about 700 people, generating an annual payroll of more than $15.6 million, the company noted.

The Georgia Department of Economic Development is providing qualified job tax credits for new capital investment. The state also is assisting with employee training programs through the Technical College System of Georgia's Quick Start program to help build and maintain the plant's workforce, Tyson said. The plant conversion and expansion is expected to create 500 jobs.

“We’re grateful to the Georgia Department of Economic Development and everything it has done to make this project possible,” White said. “We appreciate doing business in Georgia and are glad we can invest in our Vienna plant.”