SPRINGDALE, Ark. – Tyson Foods Inc. has plans to expand its Wilkesboro, North Carolina, chicken processing cook plant. The $14 million-plus expansion includes capital improvements and will result in 75 additional jobs. The plan requires approval of a community development block grant (CDBG), in part, from the North Carolina Department of Commerce, according to Worth Sparkman, Tyson spokesman.

“We’re planning to make capital improvements to a cook plant in Wilkesboro to meet growing demand for our products. The project is in part contingent on the approval of a community development block grant from the North Carolina Department of Commerce,” Sparkman said in a statement to MEAT+POULTRY. “If the grant is approved, the project will create as many as 75 jobs and will be an investment of more than $14 million in the community.”

In support of the Tyson expansion, city officials in Wilkesboro announced plans to apply for a CDBG for $1.9 million for the design and construction of a wastewater treatment plant. The second of two mandatory public hearings on the grant application has been scheduled by the Wilkesboro Town Council for 7:00 p.m., Sept. 12, at the Town hall.

Of the 75 new jobs, 60 percent will meet low to moderate income requirements necessary for the grant funding.

“We’re grateful to the North Carolina Department of Commerce and everything it has done to help Tyson Foods bring jobs to the state in the past,” said Drew McGee, senior vice president of raw poultry. “We’re hopeful this project will be a win for our company, North Carolina and our customers.”