ConAgra Foods Announces $50M Expansion
posted on Wednesday, May 20, 2015 in Blog
Cedar Valley of Iowa – The Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber and the City of Waterloo, Iowa announce the $50M expansion of the ConAgra Foods plant located in the Waterloo MidPort Industrial Park, pending approval of state and local assistance.
Mayor Buck Clark welcomes the potential new investment and jobs at the MidPort site, thanking ConAgra's staff and leadership, both at the Waterloo facility and corporate headquarters, for their decision to “Choose Waterloo.”
“The City of Waterloo is proud to continue our growing relationship with ConAgra Foods. This expansion is great for Waterloo’s tax base and it adds new employment opportunities for the whole Cedar Valley area,” said Clark, “Furthermore, ConAgra continues to strengthen and diversify its Waterloo location by adding yet another product line.”
The project and impact:
ConAgra Foods makes consumer snacks marketed under the Snack Pack and Swiss Miss brand names at its Waterloo facility.
This proposed project will add DAVID snack seed production to its state-of-the-art manufacturing platform in Waterloo.
“Waterloo is a great fit for ConAgra Foods and our new snack seeds facility. Waterloo has an excellent workforce and the location will allow us to meet our current and future business needs,” said Mike Tracy, Sr. Vice President of Supply Chain for ConAgra Foods. “Selecting Waterloo, pending approval of state and local assistance, for this work was made possible through great partnerships between ConAgra Foods and local officials, and we look forward to having a continued presence in Waterloo.”
The proposed expansion project will include new construction of processing, packaging, warehouse, and administrative areas to accommodate the new product. This expansion is expected to increase the plant production by 30 percent, adding approximately 99,000 square feet to the existing facility. The new production line will create a highly automated, state of the art manufacturing platform designed to offer more flexibility in packaging options as business needs change.
Total employment is also expected to increase by about 55 positions. Hawkeye Community College will support the proposed ConAgra Foods expansion through the Iowa Industrial New Jobs Training Program (260E), which provides a funding mechanism for training new employees. The value of the training incentive is estimated to be approximately $536,000.
“Firms like ConAgra Foods have many options when deciding where to make large capital investments. We are excited that ConAgra Foods again chose to invest in the economy, workforce, and business climate of the Cedar Valley of Iowa. It’s exciting to have yet another nationally recognized brand added to the Cedar Valley by a Fortune 500 company,” said Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber CEO, Steve Dust. “Combining this major investment with the recent expansion of VGM and the location of Winnebago, the Cedar Valley economy continues to demonstrate its strength as a profitable, productive location to serve national and international markets. I congratulate Mayor Clark, Noel Anderson and the Alliance & Chamber Economic Development team for this success for Waterloo and the Cedar Valley”, Dust concludes.
The MidPort site was originally chosen in 1997 by ConAgra Foods to build a state-of-the-art plant to produce pudding packs. The current project under consideration would be the third expansion at the MidPort plant, continuing to prove that the Cedar Valley is a prime location for quality companies with jobs like those at ConAgra Foods.
ConAgra Foods officials have applied to the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) for state incentives, with action on the request expected at their board meeting on May 22 in Des Moines. The Waterloo City Council will consider necessary approvals during their May 26meeting.
Pending approval of incentives, ground-breaking for this project is expected to take place in mid-June. The new operation could begin production by late 2016.
For more information about this project or the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber contact Steve Dust by calling 319-232-1156 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.