1,295 JOBS

Meat­packer is open­ing a pro­cess­ing plant in Sun­land Park

Albuquerque Journal - - FRONT PAGE - BY AN­GELA KOCHERGA JOUR­NAL STAFF WRITER

SUN­LAND PARK — Stampede Meat is open­ing a pro­cess­ing plant here that will cre­ate 1,295 jobs over the next five years.

“To­day, I have the plea­sure of wel­com­ing the largest sin­gle job cre­ation this com­mu­nity and our state have seen in nearly a decade,” said Gov. Su­sana Martinez at a groundbreaking cer­e­mony Fri­day.

“We are very pleased to in­vest in Sun­land Park and are grate­ful to the gov­er­nor as well as the state, county and lo­cal of­fi­cials who have helped us,” said Brock Fur­long, CEO of Stampede Meat. “We look for­ward to ex­pand­ing our work­force to con­tinue to pro­vide qual­ity prod­ucts for our cus­tomers.”

Stampede Meat is in­vest­ing $36 million to up­grade an old meat­pack­ing plant that closed three years ago. The new fa­cil­ity will double the com­pany’s pro­duc­tion, Fur­long said.

The com­pany, head­quar­tered in Bridgeview, Illi­nois, said it needed to build ca­pac­ity in the West to meet grow­ing de­mand for sea­soned cuts of beef, chicken, turkey and pork it sells to restau­rants, re­tail­ers, club stores and home delivery cus­tomers.

“This isn’t a build it and they will come ex­er­cise. We have it al­ready. This is to meet im­me­di­ate cus­tomer needs not just now but head­ing into 2019,” said Fur­long.

As part of the in­cen­tive pack­age, which in­cludes $3 million in Lo­cal Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Act funds, the com­pany will give a hir­ing pref­er­ence to New Mex­i­cans and will have spe­cial­ized train­ing for meat-cut­ters and other jobs.

“It pro­vides a hope for the peo­ple here that there are jobs open,” said Sun­land Park Mayor Javier Perea.

The ren­o­vated state-of-the-art pro­cess­ing plant will be lo­cated in the for­mer Tyson Foods fa­cil­ity, which laid off 200 peo­ple when it shut down in 2015. “The City of Sun­land Park is proud to wel­come Stampede Meat to

THIS IS TO MEET IM­ME­DI­ATE CUS­TOMER NEEDS NOT JUST NOW BUT HEAD­ING INTO 2019 — BROCK FUR­LONG, CEO STAMPEDE MEAT

one of New Mex­ico’s safest and fastest­grow­ing cities,” Perea said. “This great news comes on the month that marks the city’s 35th year an­niver­sary.”

The new meat pro­cess­ing plant is sched­uled to open in Oc­to­ber and will be the first to use a “360-de­gree seared plat­form” said Fur­long. “This is unique tech­nol­ogy that we de­vel­oped that is pro­pri­etary to us.”

Talks with Stampede Meat be­gan in early March just months ahead of the com­pany’s goal to open a fa­cil­ity in the fall.

“New Mex­ico beat out Iowa, Texas — it’s not the first time we beat out Texas. And it feels good we’re com­pet­i­tive with states like Iowa and Texas and Ok­la­homa,” Martinez said.

The Me­silla Val­ley Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Al­liance was a key to at­tract­ing the com­pany to south­ern New Mex­ico.

“This will truly be one of the top two largest man­u­fac­tur­ers in the state of New Mex­ico, and again it’s hap­pen­ing here in Sun­land Park,” said Davin Lopez, MVEDA pres­i­dent.

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