SPRINGDALE, ARK. – Tyson Foods Inc. announced on April 22 plans to invest $48 million into its Pine Bluff, Ark., poultry plant. The company said the upgrades would create nearly 70 jobs and the project is expected to be completed by late 2021.

“The demand for convenient, high-quality chicken products continues to grow and we’re investing in projects that meet the needs of our customers and consumers,” said Donnie King, chief operating officer and group president of poultry for Tyson Foods. “We’d like to thank the Arkansas Economic Development Commission and the Economic Development Alliance for Jefferson County for their assistance and support of this project.”

The renovation will increase capacity on the facility’s fully cooked processing lines that produce chicken tenders, chicken strips, boneless and bone-in wings and air-fried products. The investment will also add automated processes to product packing lines. The facility currently makes fully cooked chicken products for foodservice and retail customers.

The Pine Bluff plant and related operations were built by Tyson and opened in 1991. The facility employs more than 1,100 people and paid nearly $47 million in wages during its 2020 fiscal year. Current starting hourly wages at the facility are at least $15 per hour.

“Tyson Foods has been an economic driver for many years in Jefferson County,” said Allison Thompson, president and chief executive officer of Economic Development Alliance for Jefferson County, Ark., which includes Pine Bluff. “We are excited about their upcoming expansion and have enjoyed working with their team to support this project.”