WATERLOO, IOWA – During a Waterloo City Council meeting this week, members approved an extension for Tyson Fresh Meats to hire additional workers at the pork processing facility in Waterloo.

The subsidiary of Tyson Foods Inc. initially agreed to create 245 full-time jobs by Sept. 30, 2020, as part of approximately $2 million in tax credits by the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA). Additionally, the company received $396,000 in sales and tax refunds as part of the project. Tyson now has until May 31, 2021, to fill those positions at the facility.

When the expansion project at the Waterloo plant was announced in September 2017, IEDA required a local match of Tyson’s expansion according to the Waterloo Courier

Incentives were also part of Tyson expanding its Waterloo facility by more than 56,000 square feet of space to the nearly 540,000 square feet. There will also be a renovation of an existing 56,400 square feet.

The facility in Waterloo was hit by COVID-19 in the spring with Tyson suspending operations at the plant on April 22, after more than 1,000 workers tested positive.

The company reopened the plant in early May, but officials from Black Hawk County, which includes Waterloo, expressed concerns about community spread and Tyson employees not having proper personal protective equipment (PPE) during the first outbreak.

Iowa’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) investigated the facility and did not find violations at the Tyson Fresh Meats plant.

Recently, family members of Tyson Foods employees in Waterloo who died of COVID-19 complications filed a lawsuit against the company.