As part of the expansion, originally announced in September 2012, ConAgra Foods anticipates an investment of $100 million in the new facility and expects to add more than 80 positions. The expansion in Russellville is a result of ConAgra Foods' 2012 acquisition of the Bertolli and P.F. Chang's Home Menu frozen meal business, which will be added to the facility's production lines.
The expected addition of 80 or more new jobs over the next two years will bring total employment to about 1,300 at ConAgra Foods' Russellville facility.
"ConAgra Foods has a long history in the community, and we are excited to grow our presence here," said Mike Tracy, senior vice president of Consumer Foods Supply Chain for ConAgra Foods. "Our talented, committed employees and the tremendous support we receive from the city of Russellville and State of Arkansas will help us make great food here well into the future."
ConAgra Foods' Russellville location, in operation since 1964, currently produces Banquet, Healthy Choice and Marie Callender's products.
"ConAgra Foods' significant investment in this expansion is a testament to the quality of the company's existing workforce in Russellville," said Grant Tennille, executive director of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission. "Today's (Thursday) groundbreaking further establishes Arkansas's reputation as a hub in the food production sector."
Headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska, ConAgra Foods is among North America's leading food companies, with ConAgra Foods brands found in 97-percent of American households.
"It is always gratifying when a company has the confidence in a community and the local workforce to make a significant investment," said Russellville Mayor Bill Eaton. "ConAgra Foods has expanded their Russellville manufacturing operations numerous times since the plant was originally built in 1964. This latest investment of over $100 million is just another example of the company's confidence in Russellville and the State of Arkansas. We are grateful that ConAgra Foods calls Russellville, Arkansas home."
"We are fortunate in Russellville and the Arkansas River Valley to have many manufacturers in the area," said Jeff Pipkin, president of the Arkansas Valley Alliance for Economic Development. "ConAgra Foods has been producing quality food products in Russellville since 1964 and continues to be one of the largest employers in the region. With this exciting expansion announcement today, we know the company will be a significant part of our local economy for years to come."