Bell & Evans, a poultry processing and packaging company, plans to invest more than $44 million to expand its production center in Bethel Township, Pennsylvania, creating 380 full-time jobs in Lebanon County during the next three years.
According to Gov. Tom Corbett’s Office, the producer of chickens raised without antibiotics purchased a 19.6 acre parcel of land in Bethel Township to construct a new 158,000-square-foot poultry processing and packaging plant. The company plans to invest in building construction, new equipment and employee training. It is headquartered in Fredericksburg, Lebanon County where it employs approximately 1,145 people full time in its processing plant.
“Pennsylvania is a leader in agriculture and quality agriculture products and the support we receive from Governor Corbett is second to none,” said Scott L. Sechler Sr., Bell & Evans Chairman and President. “Our company has been here for generations and we’re very proud to be a Pennsylvania company, producing great products that we market in all 50 states.”
“Bell & Evans has called Pennsylvania home for many years, and our partnership will support this latest expansion to create 380 new jobs and open the door for future growth,” Gov. Tom Corbett said. “It’s another success story in Pennsylvania’s strong agricultural history and heritage.”
As an incentive, the company received a funding proposal from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development including a 171,000 Guaranteed Free Training grant to be used to train its new workforce. Additional funding includes a $750,000 Pennsylvania First Program grant that facilitates investment and job creation and $760,000 in Job Creation Tax Credits. A $400,000 PennDot Transportation Infrastructure Investment grant was also included.
The Governor’s Office said Bell & Evans has been encouraged to apply for a low-interest loan including $3 million from the Machinery and Equipment Loan Fund. The company has accepted the funding proposal, but must still apply for each loan and grant and agree to the terms prior to award receipt.
The project was coordinated by the Governor’s Action Team, an experienced group of economic development professionals who report directly to the Governor and work with businesses that are considering locating or expanding in Pennsylvania.