DENISON, Iowa – With news swirling about the fate of the 400 employees left jobless after Tyson Fresh Meats announced the immediate closure of its Denison-based beef plant, a nearby processor is awaiting approval of expansion plans that would create up to 200 jobs and another announced it would be hiring 80 new workers in the next two months.

According to a story published by The Daily Nonpareil, Quality Food Processors LLC is planning a $20 million expansion of its bacon processing facility, pending approval by city officials. Quality Food Processors, also based in Denison, is adding 200 workers to the 100 employees currently working at the plant. The company is scheduled to hold a job fair Aug. 25 at the Denison National Guard Armory. Meanwhile, another pork processing plant in Denison, owned by Smithfield Foods, announced Aug. 14 it would be adding 80 positions in the next 60 days.

Evan Blakley, executive director of the Chamber and Development Council of Crawford County, told the Nonpareil that the news of the Tyson plant closing was disruptive to many workers, but the opportunities for employment in the area are a reason for optimism.

“It has been a challenge for us, but we have a lot of industry here in Crawford County,” Blakley said. “It’s definitely not the end of the community, and I feel we can absorb most of these jobs.”