Food & Agriculture Related

PA: Bell & Evans Breaks Ground on New $48M Plant, Creating 380 New Jobs

10 Jul, 2014

Continuing to advance his JOBS1st PA initiative, Governor Tom Corbett joined Bell & Evans, a poultry processing and packaging company, at a groundbreaking ceremony for the company’s new plant that is expected to create 380 new jobs in Fredericksburg, Lebanon County.

“We are building a stronger Pennsylvania by partnering with companies like Bell & Evans who are creating 380 new jobs for the people of the region,” said Corbett.

Bell & Evans has purchased a 19.6 acre parcel of land and will construct a new 158,000-square-foot poultry processing and packaging plant in Bethel Township, Lebanon County. The company will invest more than $44 million in construction, new equipment and employee training. They have also committed to creating at least 380 new jobs and retaining 1,108 more positions over the next three years.

“This project is going to be a world-class, showplace of a processing plant that will produce the Bell & Evans brand of natural and organic poultry,” said Scott Sechler, Chairman and President, Sechler Family Foods, Inc., parent company of Farmers Pride Inc. and Bell & Evans. “Pennsylvania, Lebanon County, Bethel Township is the best place in the U.S.A. to do it.”

This 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. The Lebanon Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC) also collaborated on this project.

"Bell & Evans has been a valuable asset for many years to our local economy. We are very pleased and excited that this new manufacturing facility will be built in Lebanon County," said Susan Eberly, President, LVEDC. "We were glad that we could assist them during the process. They have been steadfast and diligent with creating a working environment that is beneficial to many county employees."

To ensure the commonwealth can continue supporting economic development initiatives like the Bell & Evans project, the governor continued to urge the state legislature to enact meaningful pension reform and address the current pension system’s $50 billion debt. Ballooning pension costs, which consume approximately 60 cents of every new dollar of general fund revenues, detract from the commonwealth’s ability to invest in education, human services, public safety, economic development and many other critical services.

Additionally, rising pension costs have caused 164 school districts throughout the commonwealth to request referendum exemptions to increase their property taxes, including six school districts in Lebanon County.

“For these Bell & Evans employees and taxpayers throughout Lebanon County, doing nothing is not an option.  Doing nothing fails our families,” said Corbett. “Every dollar saved through pension reform is an opportunity to build a stronger Pennsylvania.”