Projected opening of the new Seaboard Triumph Foods pork plant in Sioux City, Iowa, will be delayed as the company needs more time to install equipment and finish the commissioning process, said Chief Operating Officer Mark Porter. He estimates the opening day will be pushed back by at least a month, with potential start-up dates now being Aug. 28 or Sept. 5.
Development of the state-of-the-art facility has been underway since September 2015, when Seaboard Triumph Foods, a joint venture between Seaboard Foods and Triumph Foods, originally broke ground. Upon completion, the $300 million facility will have the capacity to slaughter 21,000 hogs per day. Production will include a full line of fresh pork products for retail, further processing, foodservice and even international markets.
According to Seaboard Triumph Foods, the facility will initially create approximately 1,100 jobs, with 900 hourly positions and 200 salaried positions across operations, food safety and quality assurance, human resources, maintenance and other departments. The company plans to add a second shift in May 2018 as production continues to increase, eventually employing around 2,000 workers.
The unemployment rate in Sioux City has been steadily declining over the past six years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In April, it dropped to 2.9%, which is the lowest it’s been in 16 years. With the unemployment rate already so low compared to the current national average of 4.3%, Seaboard Triumph Foods hopes to draw even more workers to the area after the facility is established, employing refugees and Vietnamese immigrants in addition to local citizens in the future. These additional workers could also benefit other Sioux City employers seeking to expand their businesses, spurring economic growth for the entire city.