PONCA CITY, Okla. – Dorada Poultry of Oklahoma City, Okla., plans to occupy the former 180,000-sq.-ft. Tyson Foods facility in Ponca City, Okla. Dorada Poultry is a joint venture between the principals of Lopez Foods, Inc. of Oklahoma City, Okla., the nation’s largest Hispanic-owned meat manufacturing company, and Tyson Foods Inc., Springdale, Ark.

Scheduled to begin operating in mid-2011, the plant will provide chicken products to McDonald’s restaurants and is expected to employ approximately 350 employees, five days per week, 24 hours a day.

“We are proud to become members of the Ponca City business community and look forward to becoming a model of corporate citizenship,” said Ed Sanchez, Dorada Poultry chairman and chief executive officer. “With an anticipated economic impact of $7 million per year in payroll, we will make a major economic contribution to the region where our employees will live, work and play. We want our workforce to be proud to call Dorada Poultry their employer.”

“This innovative venture will enable us to expand Tyson’s involvement in providing a reliable supply of safe, consistent quality chicken that meets McDonald’s high standards,” said Donnie Smith, president and chief executive officer of Tyson. “We look forward to supporting Dorada Poultry’s production of great food for a very important customer.”

Over the next 10 years, the Dorada Poultry plant will contribute $217 million to the Ponca City community, according to an economic impact model developed by the Ponca City Development Authority, (P.C.D.A.).

“Projects of this magnitude provide not only significant employment opportunities, they also reach deep within a community,” said David Myers, P.C.D.A. executive director, in referring to the 350 jobs projected for the project. “This is an extremely important project for Ponca City and we could not have asked for a better result.”

The Dorada Poultry principals also operate Lopez Foods (L.F.I.), which specializes in high-quality, further-processed protein products, such as fully cooked beef patties, breakfast sausage, and chicken, individually quick-frozen (I.Q.F.) beef patties and a variety of other pork, beef and chicken products. L.F.I. products are available to consumers through a number of renowned customers, including Burger King, Costco, Kroger’s, McDonald’s, Sam’s Club, Sonic, Target and Wal-mart Stores.

L.F.I. operates an 185,000-sq.-ft. processing facility in Oklahoma City with a workforce of 500. It is also the parent company of Campos Foods Inc., which operates an 85,000-sq.-ft. facility in Caryville, Tenn., that employs 200 associates.